ERIC Number: ED332248
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Power Game: Sexual Harassment on the College Campus.
A study examined four reports of sexual harassment on college campuses. The reports show that harassers "key" their victims so that a contest will begin but the victims do not understand what is happening. Miscommunication occurs when power myths about men and women intersect during the harassment episode. Such myths include: the looking and touching myth, the failure to report myth, the macho man myth and the consenting adult myth. When placed in a harassment episode, women make decisions about the action and the professor. These decisions, examined in light of social judgment-involvement theory, indicate that feelings of powerlessness are the single strongest element perpetrating sexual harassment. Both sexes help to create an environment ripe for sexual harassment by: (1) trying not to respond and hoping it will go away; (2) attempting to impugn the reputations of the women attempting to change the system; (3) protecting the reputations of the ritually active men; and (4) ignoring the issue of sexual harassment which, until recently, has received little attention. Students should be informed about sexual harassment, and learn that they do not have to put up with it. Institutions, in turn, need to take such steps as instituting a grievance procedure and protecting the privacy of the victim, to protect themselves and students against the harassers. (Twenty-five references are included.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Power Equalization; Sex Exploitation; Social Judgment Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern States Communication Association (Tampa, FL, April 3-7, 1991).