JOURNAL ARTICLE

Perceptions of sexual harassment in Swedish high schools: experiences and school-environment problems

Eva Witkowska, Ewa Menckel
European Journal of Public Health 2005, 15 (1): 78-85
15788808

BACKGROUND: Sexual harassment in schools is recognized as a public-health problem detrimental to girls' psychosomatic health. This study examines the magnitude of sexual harassment and types of behaviours related to sexual harassment that female students are exposed to in a school environment, and their perceptions of them as problems in school.

METHOD: A random sample of 540 female high school students, from all over Sweden, responded to an anonymous self-report mail questionnaire consisting of items related to personal experiences of different behaviours related to sexual harassment during the previous school year.

RESULTS: Sexual harassment was identified by 49% of the female students as a problem present in their schools. The most common types were verbal behaviours, such as: sexualized conversations, attractiveness rating, demeaning comments about gender, name-calling, and sexual personal comments. The most common non-verbal displays were: sexualized contact seeking and sexual looks. Behaviours in the sexual assault and teacher-to-student categories were less prevalent. In all four categories, the respondents who reported exposure to a particular behaviour were significantly more likely to identify that behaviour as a problem in their school. However, many non-exposed respondents also perceived such behaviours as problems in their school.

CONCLUSIONS: Female high-school students in Sweden are exposed to a variety of inappropriate and/or unacceptable behaviours of a sexual nature, or based on sex, that may infringe their right to a supportive, respectful and safe learning environment or their dignity. Greater efforts are needed to analyse and prevent sexual harassment in schools.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
15788808
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"