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ERIC Number: ED535063
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 207
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-8263-5
ISSN: N/A
Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women Undergraduates' Educational Experience in Anambra State of Nigeria
Okeke, Carina Maris Amaka
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
Sexual harassment in educational settings is a common problem globally. While it is well addressed in college and university campuses in most developed countries of the world through specific policies and mechanisms of enforcement, it remains a taboo topic in African colleges and universities particularly in Nigeria. This study investigated the impact of sexual harassment on women undergraduates in public and private institutions of higher learning in one region of Nigeria, Anambra State. Its purpose was to identify the extent of harassment and to gage its impact on the academic experience of women undergraduates, especially in terms of the impact of academic field differences. Astin's theory of students' involvement and Douglas and Wildavsky's Cultural Theory of Risk provided the framework for this study. The sample for this study was selected from the population of 760 women undergraduates in the fields of science and technology and 2140 women undergraduates in other academic fields that currently enrolled in the 2009-2010 academic year at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Madonna University, Anambra State University, and Anambra State Polytechnic. The lists of women undergraduates enrolled in the 2009-2010 academic year were accessible through the Head of Departments (HOD) in the sampled institutions. The study sought to test the following research questions: (1) Are Academic Field; Organizational Variables (Faculty Gender and Student Gender Ratios); Individual Variables (Age and GPA), Behavioral Exposure Index, and Culturally-Embedded Gender Stereotypes associated with the Perceived Sexual Harassment experienced by women undergraduates in Anambra State colleges and universities? (2) Are Academic Field, Organizational Variables (Faculty Gender and Student Gender Ratios), Individual Variables (Age and GPA), Culturally-Embedded Gender Stereotypes, Behavioral Exposure Index, and Perceived Sexual Harassment associated with the Adjustment to Behavioral Exposure of women undergraduates to potential sexual harassment in Anambra State colleges and universities? Sexual Harassment on Campus Survey (SHCS) tool created purposefully for this study was used to generate the data for the study. The survey questions addressed the four principal constructs for the study: Behavioral Exposure Index, Culturally-Embedded Gender Stereotypes, Perceived Sexual Harassment, and Adjustment to the Behavioral Exposure. With SHCS the study examined how academic field impacted the sexual harassment experienced by women undergraduates in Anambra States colleges and universities. Due to the cultural beliefs of the Igbos of Anambra State (which is the setting for the study) that genderized academic fields the study compared the harassment experiences of women participants in the traditional female academic fields with those in the traditional male academic fields. The study argued that (1) academic field; organizational variables (faculty gender and student sender ratios); individual variables (age and GPA), behavioral exposure index, and culturally-embedded gender stereotypes are not associated with the perceived sexual harassment experienced by women undergraduates in Anambra State colleges and universities. Secondly, the study also proposed that academic field, organizational variables (faculty gender and student gender ratios), individual variables (age and GPA), culturally-embedded gender stereotypes, behavioral exposure index, and perceived sexual harassment are not associated with the adjustment to the behavioral exposure of women undergraduates to the potential sexual harassment in Anambra State colleges and universities. Descriptive statistics was conducted on the demographic profile of the research participants and on each question of the survey variables. Frequency and percentage measurements were used to explore patterns in the responses to the survey questions. The Kronbach's alpha coefficients were used to determine the quality of the survey subscales. Finally, a hierarchical linear regression was used to test the predictive power of the independent variables on the Perceived Sexual Harassment and the Adjustment to the Behavioral Exposure of women undergraduates to the potential harassment behavior of the male faculty and students. Three successive models were tested to determine the best combination of predictor variables for Perceived Sexual Harassment and Adjustment to the Behavioral Exposure scores. The findings indicated that women undergraduate participants in the traditionally male academic fields experienced behaviors that could be interpreted as harassment "often or very often" while participants in the traditionally female academic fields experienced behaviors that are consistent with harassment mostly "sometimes". Overall, the finding indicated that the likelihood that women undergraduates will report having experienced sexual harassment was determined by the (a) actual exposure to potentially harassing behaviors by faculty and students; (b) their academic performance (GPA) and cultural gender stereotypes held by women undergraduates than age and institutional characteristics such as academic fields, faculty and student gender ratios. These variables accounted for half of the variance in Perceived Sexual Harassment. The findings showed that behavioral adjustment to the environmental condition was not well predicted and if perceived harassment was quite predictable, how individuals respond as regards to adjustment of behaviors seems to be less predictable. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nigeria