Critical climate: Relations among sexual harassment, climate, and outcomes for high school girls and boys

This study examined the relationships among peer-to-peer sexual harassment, school climate, adult-to-student harassment, and outcomes (psychological and physical well-being; school withdrawal and safety) for high school girls (n= 310) and boys (n= 259) recruited from seven public high schools in a Midwestern state. More frequent, severe peer harassment was associated with being female; holding climate perceptions that one's school is tolerant of the harassment of girls; and experiencing more frequent, severe harassment by school personnel. The correlates associated with outcomes varied by outcome, with climate exerting a consistent influence on boys' outcomes. Girls' outcomes were associated with climate, harassment, or both. Findings suggest that more frequent, severe experiences of sexual harassment in the schools are associated with direct, negative effects on girls and indirect, negative effects on boys and girls through a school climate that tolerates the harassment of girls.
Author: 
Ormerod,A.J.Collinsworth L.L.
Perry,L.A.
Notes: 
IS
Reprint Status: 
NOT IN FILE
Start Page: 
113
End Page: 
125
Journal/Periodical Name: 
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume: 
32
Issue: 
2
Abstract: 
Seniors from 7 public schools in a Midwestern state participated in a study that examined the relationship among peer-to-peer sexual harassment, school climate, adult-to-student harassment and the psychological and physical well being, school withdrawal and safety outcomes among students. Relationships of the variables and outcomes were measured separately for boys and girls. The findings suggested high rates of reported peer sexual harassment but the meanings or experiences of the behaviors were different for boys and girls. Overall, both genders experienced damaging effects of harassment and school climate was related to feeling unsafe, withdrawal, and low self-esteem. Girls experienced more peer harassment than boys, but boys experienced negative consequences regardless if they were the targets of the harassment. Both genders suffered when harassment was perceived to be tolerated by teachers and administrators.
Topic Areas: 
adolescent/high school, harassment
Reference Type: 
JOUR
Reference ID: 
2560
Publication Date: 
2008