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Sex Roles

, Volume 48, Issue 5–6, pp 231–244 | Cite as

Sexual Harassment of Adolescents Perpetrated by Teachers and by Peers: An Exploration of the Dynamics of Power, Culture, and Gender in Secondary Schools

  • Greetje TimmermanEmail author
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore and compare the similarities and disparities between sexual harassment of students that is perpetrated by teachers and by peers. The study involved 2,808 randomly selected adolescents at 22 secondary schools from two regions in the Netherlands. The sample comprised 14- and 15-year-old students (55% girls and 45% boys). The majority of the students' parents were born in the Netherlands (86%); 14% were born outside the Netherlands (Morocco, Turkey, and Surinam). The data revealed important differences between peer sexual harassment and sexual harassment perpetrated by teachers. Unwanted sexual behavior by peers is a cultural phenomenon that occurs in public areas. The relatively low incidence of unwanted sexual behavior (18%), however, does not fully reflect the Culture Model. Sexual harassment by teachers is a particularly detrimental experience for adolescents, and health-related problems are therefore reported in higher numbers. Contrary to the assumptions of the Power Model, sexual harassment perpetrated by teachers is not incidental (27%) and does not only occur in secluded places.

sexual harassment adolescents secondary education 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pedagogy and Gender StudiesUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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