ERIC Number: ED362935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-15
Reference Count: N/A
Vestals or Victims: Suggestions for the Female Teaching Assistant.
Female instructors and female teaching assistants are still struggling to receive recognition as men's equals in academic circles. Although many obvious barriers have fallen, more base and personal forms of discrimination and harassment still exist. Women are trivialized in the professional system and are devalued by the administration. Students also discriminate against female teachers and teaching assistants, but in different ways. Female instructors are evaluated by students on different criteria than male instructors: for example, an "aggressive" teaching style is valued in men, but not in women. Research has indicated that "contrapower harassment" also occurs: female teaching assistants are the victims of undue attention, obscene telephone calls from students, verbal sexual comments, body language, written sexual comments, physical advances, explicit sexual propositions, and sexual bribery. The question of why students feel the need to harass female instructors seems to stem from the male student's difficulty in accepting women in power. Ways to bring about some relief to female professors and teaching assistants include: making faculty aware of the problem; striving to recognize and eliminate the "micro-inequities"; showing students that the faculty and administration no longer devalue female instructors; and recognizing that sexual harassment occurs in the classroom. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Male Female Relationship; Professional Concerns
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Meeting of the Southern States Communication Association and the Central States Communication Association (Lexington, KY, April 14-18, 1993).