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Sexual Harassment Affects Young Adults and Children

Another place, in addition to the workplace, that is supposed to be safe from harassment is a school. A new study, however, sheds light on the fact that sexual harassment is pervasive in schools throughout the country.

The American Association of University Women found that 44 percent of students reported that they’ve been sexually harassed at school. More than 50 percent of girls said they’ve been sexually harassed and about 33 percent of boys said they’ve been sexually harassed. This trend likely has a trickle down affect to workplaces once these students join the workforce upon graduation.

Many scholars have also noted that the younger generations seem less concerned about sexual harassment than older generations. Much of this stems from the fact that the younger generation has grown up with technology such as texting and Facebook that allows more anonymity in harassment.

According to the study, the most hurtful type of harassment differed between the school-age boys and the girls surveyed. “For boys, it was being called gay in a negative way; for girls, unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, and gestures were the most offensive,” the FindLaw blog said about the survey.

It’s important that schools fully enforce sexual harassment policies to stop the culture of harassment before the students graduate. Otherwise, the harasser will likely continue the pattern of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Source: FindLaw “4 in 10 students have been sexually harassed,” Andrew Chow, 11/10/2011

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