I Didn't Know it was Harassment: Pervasive & Unrecognized Discrimination on the College Campus
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This exploratory study investigates college men’s opinions about as well as their engagement in and knowledge of other men’s participation in behaviors college women define as sexual harassment. There is a dearth of knowledge about male students’ perceptions of sexual harassment, how those perceptions influence their sexually harassing behaviors, and how students’ perceptions and behaviors align (or not) with academic and legal constructs of sexual harassment. This study, conducted at a midsized state university in the U.S. suburban south, aims to add to the current knowledge by revealing men’s self-reported perceptions and behaviors regarding sexual harassment and locating those perceptions and behaviors within the cultural context. Sexual harassment is discrimination, and legally, for a school to be held liable under Title IX, school personnel with the authority to stop the discrimination must know of the harassment and act with deliberate indifference. The results of this study provide the necessary evidence for school officials to know harassment, and therefore, discrimination, is occurring. The results reveal male students do not recognize behaviors that constitute sexual harassment, and moreover, they admit to committing sexual harassment, including egregious forms such as stalking and sexual assault.
Parsons, Tiffany A., "I Didn't Know it was Harassment: Pervasive & Unrecognized Discrimination on the College Campus." Dissertation, Georgia State University, 2020.
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