Abstract

Evidence suggests that adults in school settings are doing less than they should to stop student peer sexual harassment. When such behavior persists, it creates an intrusive environment that may interfere with learning. The study was designed to determine teachers' attitudes toward sexual harassment; their perceptions of sexually harassing student behaviors; how they would respond to these behaviors; and the influence of teachers' age, sex, sex role identity, and size of school on their attitudes, perceptions, and actions. The two hundred and seventy survey respondents represented 20 randomly selected high schools in a 20-county region of one southwestern state. The results show that the teachers were intolerant in their attitudes toward sexual harassment. They recognized student peer sexual harassment, particularly in its more severe forms, and indicated that they would take action to stop such behavior when it occurred. The teachers were relatively homogeneous in their attitudes toward and perceptions of sexual harassment. However, the set of four predictors, age, sex, sex-role identity, and size of school, did influence the actions teachers would take in response to peer harassment, particularly with regard to the most frequently chosen actions, report the behavior to the designated authority and tell the initiator to stop.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5157
Print ISSN
0018-1498
Pages
pp. 1-13
Launched on MUSE
2004-10-01
Open Access
No
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