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Open Access Peer Sexual Harassment in Adolescence: The Function of Gender

Le harcèlement sexuel par des pairs à l'adolescence: le rôle de l'appartenance sexuelle

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Abstract:

The author describes the sexual harassment experiences of 565 male and female students in Grades 9 through 11 and discusses the influence of the social construction of gender on those experiences. The sample was drawn from 12 schools in 2 Canadian provinces. The study employed a retrospective correlational survey design, using self-report questionnaires administered in class. The results indicate that sexual harassment is pervasive among both male and female adolescents but is particularly problematic for girls due to their qualitatively different harassment experiences. Both girls and boys reported gender harassment to be, in general, more upsetting than unwanted sexual advances. Girls employed a greater variety of coping strategies than boys; however, for both sexes passive coping strategies were predominant.The author offers recommendations related to school health programming and discusses the role of the school nurse.



L'auteure décrit les expériences de harcèlement sexuel vécues par 565 étudiants et étudiantes de neuvième à onzième année et se penche sur l'influence qu'exerce la construction sociale liée à l'appartenance sexuelle sur ces expériences. L'échantillonnage est constitué d'étudiants et d'étudiantes de 12 écoles situées dans deux provinces canadiennes. L'étude s'appuie sur un modèle faisant usage de sondages corrélationnels axés sur la rétrospective et des questionnaires d'auto-évaluation ont été distribués en classe. Selon les résultats, le harcèlement sexuel est prépondérant chez les adolescents et les adolescentes mais il est particulièrement problématique chez les filles en raison de la différence qualitative du harcèlement qu'elles vivent. Les filles ainsi que les garçons témoignent que le harcèlement sexuel est, en général, plus perturbateur que ne le sont des avances sexuelles non désirées. Les filles ont recours à un plus grand éventail de stratégies d'adaptation que les garçons.Toutefois, les stratégies d'adaptation passives étaient prédominantes chez les deux sexes. L'auteure émet des recommandations relativement aux programmes de santé en milieu scolaire et discute du rôle de l'infirmière dans les écoles.

Keywords: ADOLESCENCE; APPARTENANCE; GENDER; HARCELEMENT SEXUEL; PAIRS AGRESSEURS; PEER PERPETRATORS; SEXUAL HARASSMENT; SEXUELLE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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