Sexual Harassment In Education

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Sexual harassment in an educational setting
Both males and females experience some kind of sexual harassment in different settings including educational, workplace and environmental settings. Sexual harassment includes derogatory comments, slurs, jokes, sexting, letters and notes of a sexual nature, assault, touching, sexual gesture, sexually explicit pictures and cartoons. Offering favors in exchange of sexual favors is also considered as sexual harassment, and it is very common in educational institutes (Carinci, 2013). Despite the fact that sexual harassment is forbidden under the title VII of Civil Right Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the high frequency of sexual harassment shows how vast the problem is (Zittleman,
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Parents teach girls and boys to handle problem, challenge, and life differently. Girls are encouraged proximity while discouraged independent problem solving and active play. Parents expect their children to perform gender stereotypical roles, and in order to do so they teach the gender differences at very young age (Lips 1989). Other than that, peers harshly judge and punish the individuals who violate gender stereotypes. They also actively reinforce engaging in gender appropriate behavior as a result individuals adjust their behavior to conform to the gender roles. They have a great influence on how each gender approaches to the power and mastery. Parents, continuously from childhood, give the message to the girls that they have little control over their lives, relationship, and in the realm of sexuality (Lips, 1989). In the Jones’ study (as cited in Lips, 1989), it is said that peers react differently when a power position is held by girls as compared to boys. Boys were liked and accepted by their peers for having high position in the hierarchy while powerful girls were rejected by their peers. Aggressive behavior among boys is awarded by their peers while it meet disapproval if found among girls. Boys are more likely to influence their male and female peers by using direct requests then girls who try to influence others by using indirect request which are bracketed by polite phrases. Moreover, teachers reinforce the gender roles in the educational system by choosing textbooks and other curriculum that depict traditional gender roles, and present females as invisible and incompetent. In classrooms, girls and boys are treated in a way that promotes control among boys and helplessness among girls. Boys are allowed by teachers to interrupt the lecture while girls are discouraged to do so. Teachers praise female students on their appearance and male students on their academic performance

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