As the details continue to unfold about Herman Cain’s sexual harassment ordeal from the 1990s, a new study revealed that a majority of kids in grades 7 to 12 are sexually harassed by their peers each year.
The survey, which questioned nearly 2,000 teens from across the country, found that 56 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys admitted to being harassed. The study’s creators, the American Association of University Women, defined sexual harassment as, “Unwelcome sexual behavior that takes place in person or electronically,” and despite the study finding most harassers were boys, many young men admitted to being victims themselves.
According to the New York Times:
“Over all, 48 percent of students surveyed said they were harassed during the 2010-11 school year. Forty-four percent of students said they were harassed “in person” — being subjected to unwelcome comments or jokes, inappropriate touching or sexual intimidation — and 30 percent reported online harassment, like receiving unwelcome comments, jokes or pictures through texts, e-mail, Facebook and other tools, or having sexual rumors, information or pictures spread about them.”
Although the most common form of harassment was “unwelcome sexual comments, gestures, or jokes” (46% of girls, 22% of boys), many teens reported to being touched (13% of girls, 3% of boys), and some even admitted to being forced to e sexual (3.5% of girl, 0.2% of boys).
While girls said they were most affected by “unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures to or about you,” boys admitted to being most distraught about being called “gay.”
These survey results signals a pervasive problem. While many schools and districts focus on bullying, many officials hope they do not lose sight of sexual harassment, which caused many of the study’s respondents to skip school, lose sleep, suffer stomach aches, and depression.
Some may discard these results about sexual harassment, and those about bullying, as just normal aspects of life, they are having a negative affect on our youth. People who harass others while they are teens are more likely to do so as adults, so it’s important that schools and parents educated their children about how to treat others while they’re young.
We you a victim of harassment as a teen?