SEXUAL HARASSMENT: EXPERIENCES, PREVALENCE AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY IN SOME SELECTED HIGHER INSTITUTIONS IN LAGOS, SOUTH-WEST NIGERIA:
The renewed attention that sexual harassment, in all its forms, has received in recent past and continues to receive may not be unconnected to the observed rise in reported and unreported incidents, and the psycho-physiological distress experienced by the victims of this social malaise in Nigeria society, most particularly in the higher institutions of learning. This paper therefore empirically examined the incidents, prevalence and psycho-physiological implications of sexual harassment in some selected Nigerian tertiary institutions in Lagos metropolis. The study was a survey, which employed ex-post-facto research design. It draws from feminist and patriarchal theory of sexual harassment. A total of 328 students’ from twelve departments of the six major faculties of the sampled institutions, which comprises of 124 males and 204 females, participated in the study. It was hypothesized that female participants will report more of public/street sexual harassments compared to their male counterpart who will report more of private, territorial sexual harassment. Female victims of predatory, dominance and territorial harassers will report significant negative psycho-physiological disorders compared to their male counterparts. The study revealed that there were significant gender differences in the pattern of sexual harassment reported by the participants. Female young adults reported that their male sexual harassers are more of predatory and territorial harassers when social contact is public, while their male counterparts reported that female engaged more often in territorial and street sexual harassment in public than males. Further analysis showed that male young adults reported that their female counterparts are territorial and street harassers in private, while the female counterparts reported the male are voraciously predatory harassers if the contact environment is private. The associated Chi-square value and Contingency correlation obtained provided support for this pattern and trend of sexual harassment among young adults when social contact is either public or private. This study also revealed significant gender difference in observed variance in the health symptoms, psychological distress symptoms and depressive symptoms of the victims of sexual harassment. It explained about 9%, 14% and 50.1% of the observed variance in victim’s health, psychological distress and depressive symptoms respectively. Type of sexual harassment was significant for psychological stress and depressive symptoms. Expectedly, depressive symptoms were higher among females who were sexually harassed in public as compared to their counterparts that were sexually harassed in private. However, psychological distress was high among both male and female sexually harassed victims who reported predatory, dominance, territorial and street harassment in the public compared to their counterparts that experienced sexual harassment in the private. The pattern and emerging trend of the experience, prevalence and psychopathology of sexual harassment found in this study are novel and very instructive especially against the backdrop of the widely held belief that males are the main sexual harassers and that the females as the sole victims of sexual harassment. The results were discussed in the light of extant theories and literatures of human sexual orientations.
Abe, I. (2012). Defining and Awareness of Sexual Harassment Among Selected University Students in Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 3(3), 212-218.
Adama, J. W., Kottke, J. L and Padgitt, J. S. (1983). Sexual harassment of university students. Journal of College Student Personnel, 10, 484-490.
Adamolekun, O. (1989). Sexual harassment on campus: A counsellor‟s reflection. Nigerian Journal of Counseling and Development, 4, 53-57.
Adamolekun, O. 1989. ‘Sexual harassment on campus: A counsellor’s reflection’. Nigerian, Journal of Counselling and Development. 4, November, 53-57.
Adedokun, A. O. (2005). Sexual Harassment in Nigerian Educational Setting: Preliminary Notes from a Qualitative Assessment of Lagos State University, Sexuality in Africa Magazine, 2.
Akinbode, G.A. (2012). Development and validation of sexual harassment scale. Unpublished research pilot study report, Department of Psychology, University of Lagos.
Akinbulumo, S.O.A. (2003). Violence against Women in Nigeria: Implications for Family Life. The Social and Management Scientist, 1(1): 109-129.
Alemany, M. C. (1998). Sexual harassment at work in five southern European countries. In European Commission, Sexual Harassment in the European Union, 155-228.
Allgeier, E. R., & McCormick, N. B. (1983) Changing boundaries: Gender roles and sexual behavior (Eds.). Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield.
Aluede, O. O. (2000). Sexual harassment of women employees in a Nigerian University: Implications for Counsellors. Guidance & Counselling, 15, 2, 27–32.
Avina, C., & O’Donohue, W. (2002). Sexual harassment and PTSD: Is sexual harassment diagnosable trauma? Journal of Traumatic Stress, 15(1), 69-75.
Bingham, S. G. & Scherer, L. L. (1993). Factors associated with responses to sexual harassment and satisfaction with outcome. Sex Roles, 29(3-4), 239-269.
Bingham, S. G. (1991). Communication strategies for managing sexual harassment in organizations: Understanding message options and their effects. Journal of AppliedCommunication Research, 19(1-2): 88-115.
Blumenthal, J. A. (1998). The Reasonable Woman Standard: A meta-analytic review gender differences in perceptions of sexual harassment. Law and Human Behavior, 22(1), 33-57.
Bohner, G., Weisbrod, C., Raymond, P., Barzvi, A., & Schwarz, N. (1993). Salience of rape affects self-esteem: The moderating role of gender and rape-myth acceptance. European Journal of Social Psychology, 23, 561-579.
Button, S. (2001). Organizational efforts to affirm sexual diversity: A cross-level examination. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 17–28.
Chukwudi, F & Gbakorun, A. A. (2011). Indecent Dressing and Sexual Harassment among Undergraduates of Nasarawa State University, Keffi. Journal of Sociology, Psychology and Anthropology in Practice, 3(2), 25-31.
Cleveland, J. N. (1994). Women and sexual harassment: Work and well-being in US organizations. In M. J. Davidson & R. J. Burke (Eds.), Women in management (pp. 168–191). London: Paul Chapman.
Cleveland, J. N., & Kerst, M. E. (1993). Sexual harassment and perceptions of power: an under-articulated relationship. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 42, 49-67.
Coles, F. S. (1986). Forced to quit: Sexual harassment complaints and agency response. Sex Roles, 14, 81–95.
Croteau, J. M. (1996). Research on the workplace experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual people: An integrative review of methodology and findings. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 48, 195–209.
D’Augelli, A. R. (1989). Lesbians’ and gay men’s experiences of discrimination and harassment in a university sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7, 317–321.
D’Augelli, A. R. (1992). Lesbians’ and gay male undergraduates’ experiences of harassment and fear on campus. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7, 383–395.
Dansky, B. S., & Kilpatrick, D. G. (1997). Effects of sexual harassment. In W. O’Donohue (Ed.), Sexual harassment (pp. 152–174). Needham Heights, MA: Viacom.
De Coster, S., Estes, S.B., & Mueller, C.W. (1999). Routine Activities and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Work and Occupations, 26(21), 49.
Dekker I., & Barling J. (1998). Personal and organizational predictors of workplace sexual harassment of women by men, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3, 7-18.
DeSouza, E., & Fansler, A. G. (2003). Contrapower sexual harassment: A survey of students and faculty members. Sex Roles, 48(11-12), 529-542.
DeSouza, E.R., Pryor, J.B., Ribeiro, J., Mello, J. & Cammino, C. (2004). Female Nurses’ and Educators’ Reactions to Sexual Harassment Charges: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Revista Interamericana de Psicologia/Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 38(1), 33-40
Ezumah, N. (2004). Understanding Sexual Harassment in Institutions of Higher Learning in Nigeria. The Nigerian Social Scientist, 7(2),19-23.
Fayankinnu, E. A. (2012). University Faculty Males’ Experiences of Sexual Harassment from Female Students
British Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 6(1), 104-120.
Fayankinnu, E. A. (2004). Ethics and Sexual Harassment in Staff/Students Relations: Who Harasses Who? The Nigerian Social Scientist, 7(2), 13-18.
Fayankinnu, E.A. 2003a. Women in Leadership Positions in Nigerian Organisations: An exploratory study. The Social and Management Scientist, 1(1): 134-144.
Finn, J. (2004). A survey of online harassment at a university campus. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19, 468–483.
Fitzgerald, L. F. (1990). Assessing strategies for coping and sexual harassment: A theoretical/empirical approach. Paper presented at the midwinter Association of Women in Psychology Conference, Tempe, AZ.
Fitzgerald, L. F. (1993). Sexual harassment: Violence against women in the workplace. American Psychologist, 48(10), 1070-1076.
Fitzgerald, L. F. (1996). Sexual harassment: The definition and measurement of a construct. In M. Paludi (Ed.), Sexual harassment on college campuses: Abusing the ivory power. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
Fitzgerald, L. F., & Hesson-McInnis, M. (1989). The dimensions of sexual harassment: A structural analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 35, 309-326.
Fitzgerald, L. F., & Shullman, S. (1993). Sexual harassment: A research analysis and agenda for the 1990s. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 42, 5–27.
Fitzgerald, L. F., Gelfand, M., & Drasgow, F. (1995). Measuring sexual harassment: Theoretical and psychometric advances. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 17, 425–445.
Fitzgerald, L. F., Hulin, C. L., & Drasgow, F. (1994). The antecedents and consequences of sexual harassment in organizations: An integrated model. In G. P. Keita & J. J. Hurrell, Jr. (Eds.), Jobstress in a changing workforce: Investigating gender, diversity, and family issues (pp. 55–73).Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Fitzgerald, L. F., Shullman, S., Bailey, N., Richards, M., Swecker, J., Gold, Y., Ormerod, M., & Weitzman, L. (1988). The incidence and dimensions of sexual harassment in academia and the workplace. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 32, 152–175.
Fitzgerald, L., & Ormerod, M. (1991). Perceptions of sexual harassment: The influence of gender and academic context. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 281–294.
Glick, P., Fiske, S. T., Mladinic, A., Saiz, J. L., Abrams, D., Masser, B., et al. (2000). Beyond prejudice as simple antipathy: Hostile and benevolent sexism across cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 763-775.
Gutek, B.A. & Dunwoody, V. (1987). Understanding sex in the workplace, in Women and work: An annual review, 249-269.
Gutek B & Morasch, B. (1982). Sex-Ratios, Sex-Role Spillover and Sexual harassment of Women at Work. Journal of Social Issues, 83, 55-74.
Gutek, B. A and Koss, M. P. (1993). Changed women and changed consequences of and coping with sexual harassment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 42, 28–48.
Gutek, B. A. (1985). Sex and the workplace: Impact of sexual behavior and harassment on women, men and organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Gutek, B.A. (1992). Understanding sexual harassment at work. Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, 6(2), 335-358.
Hall, R. M. & Sandler, B. R. (1984). Out of the classroom: A chilly campus climate for women? Project on the status and education of women. Washington: Association of American Colleges.
Herek, G. M. (1989). Hate crimes against lesbians and gay men: Issues for research and policy. American Psychologist, 44, 948–955.
Herek, G. M. (1993). Documenting prejudice on campus: The Yale sexual orientation survey. Journal of Homosexuality, 25, 15–30.
Herek, G. M., Cogan, J. C., & Gillis, J. R. (2002). Victim experiences in hate crimes based on sexual orientation.
Journal of Social Issues, 58, 319–339.
Imonikhe, j., Aluede, O & Idogho, P. (2012). A Survey of Teachers‟ and Students‟ Perception of Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions of Edo State, Nigeria. Asian Social Science, 8(1), 12- 25.
Johnson, K. (2010).Sexual Harassment against Nursing Students: A Case Study of Nigeria, Gender & Behaviour , 11(1)
Kamal, K., Asnarulkhadi, A.S. & Jamila, O. (2011). Sexual Harassment: Why Men Do It? A Study to Examine The Predictors That Leads Men To Sexually Harass. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(12), 208-217
Koss, M. P. (1990). Changed lives: The psychological impact of sexual harassment. In M. Paludi (Ed), Ivory power: Sex and gender harassment in academia (pp 73-92). Albany NY, SUNY Press.
Ladebo, O. J. (2003). Sexual Harassment in Academia in Nigeria: How Real? African Sociological Review, 7(1), 1-34.
LaFontaine, E., & Tredeau, L. (1986). The frequency, sources and correlates of sexual harassment among women in traditional male occupations. Sex Roles, 15(7-8), 433-442.
Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers (D. Cartwright, Ed.). New York: Harper Torchbooks.
Livingston, J. (1982). Responses to sexual harassment on the job: Legal, organizational, and individual actions. Journal of Social Issues 38, 5-22.
MacKinnon, C. (1979). Sexual harassment of working women. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press.
McFadden, P. (2001). The cultural complexity of sexuality harassment and violence and homosexual harassment poses a barrier to the educational and professional development of staff and students. An oral presentation at the conceptual framework and experiences plenary sessions, Zimbabwe.
Mitchell, J. (1971). Women’s Estate . Harmondsworth: Penguin Books
Moradi, B. (2006). Perceived sexual-orientation based harassment in military and civilian contexts. Military Psychology, 18, 39–60.
Mueller, C. W., De Coster, S., & Estes, S. B. (2001). Sexual harassment in the workplace: Unanticipated consequences of modern social control in organizations. Work and Occupations, 28(4), 411-446.
Nnorom, C. P. (2004). Sexual Harassment in The University of Lagos: A Fact of Farce? The Nigerian Social Scientists 7(2): 27-30.
Noah, Y. (2008). Experienced of sexual harassment at work by female employees in a Nigerian work environment. International NGO Journal, 3(7), 122-127
O’Connell, C. E., & Korabik, K. (2000). Sexual harassment: The relationship of personal vulnerability, work context, perpetrator status, and type of harassment to outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 56, 299-329.
Okeke, C. M. A (2011). "Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women Undergraduates' Educational Experience in Anambra State of Nigeria" . Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses
Okoro, F.I. & Osawemen, O. (2005) Sexual harassment: Experience of out-of-school teenagers in Benin City, Nigeria. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 9(3), 8-20.
Omolola, J.S. (2007). The intellectual dimension of corruption in Nigeria, African Sociological Review, 11(2), 29-41.
Omonijo, O. D, Uche, O.C. O, Nwadiafor, K.L & Rotimi, O.A (2013) A Study of Sexual Harassment in Three Selected Private Faith-Based Universities, Ogun-State, South-West Nigeria. Open Journal of Social Science Research, 1(9):250-263
Oppong, C. (1995). A high price to pay: For education, subsistence and a place in the job market. Health Transition Review (Supplement), 5, 35–56.
Paludi, M. A & Barickman, (1991). Academic and workplace sexual harassment. SUNNY Press, pp 2-5.
Paludi, M. A. (1990). Ivory Power: Sexual harassment on campus. Albany, NY:State University of New York Press.
Pereira, C. (2004). Sexual Harassment in Nigerian Universities: Exploring Practice, Ethics and Agency, The Nigerian Social Scientist, 7(2), 2-12.
Perce, C.A & Aguinis, H..(1997). Bridging the gap between romantic relationships and sexual harassment in organizations. Journal of Occupational Behaviour, 18(3), 197-200.
Pina, A., Gannon, T. A., & Saunders, B. (2009). An overview of the literature on sexual harassment: Perpetrator, theory, and treatment issues. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14, 126-138.
Pryor, J. B., DeSouza, E. R., Fitness, J., Hutz, C., Kumpf, M., Lubbert, K., et al. (1997). Gender differences in the interpretation of social-sexual behavior: A cross-cultural perspective on sexual harassment. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 28, 509-534.
Pryor, J. B., Giedd, J. L., & Williams, K. B. (1995). A social-psychological model for predicting sexual harassment. Journal of Social Issues, 51, 69-84.
Pryor, J. B., LaVite, C. M., & Stoller, L. M. (1993). A social psychological analysis of sexual harassment: The person/situation interaction. [Special Issue]. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 42, 68-83.
Pryor, J.B & Whalen, N.J. (1997) A typology of sexual harassment: characteristics of harassers and the social circumstances under which sexual harassment occurs. In O’Donohue, W (Ed.) Sexual Harassment: Theory, Research and Treatment. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 129–51.
Pryor, J.B. & Whalen, N.A (2012). A typology of sexual harassment: Characteristics of harassers. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232491199 [accessed Jun 17 2018].
Pryor, J.B., Giedd, J.L., & Williams, K.B, (2010). A Social Psychological Model for Predicting Sexual Harassment, Journal of Social Issues 51(1):69 – 84.
Ragins, B. R. (2004). Sexual orientation in the workplace. The unique work and career experiences of gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 23, 35–120.
Ragins, B. R., & Cornwell, J. M. (2000). Pink triangles: Antecedents and consequences of perceived workplace discrimination against gay and lesbian employees. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1244–1261.
Schneider, K.T., Swan, S. & Fitzgerald, L.F. (1997). Job-related and psychological effects of sexual harassment in the work-place: Empirical evidence from two organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(3), 401-415.
Sev’er, A. (1999). Sexual harassment: Where we were, where we are and prospects for the new millennium. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropologyhttp://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~socsci/sever/pubs/sexualharassment.html
Stockdale M. S., & Vaux, A. (1993). What sexual harassment experiences lead respondents to acknowledge being sexually harassed? A secondary analysis of a university survey. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 43, 221-234
Stockdale, M. S. (Ed.) (1996). Sexual harassment in the workplace: Perspectives, frontiers, and response strategies. Women and work: A research and policy series, 5.London: Sage.
Stockdale, M. S., Vaux, A., & Cashin, J. (1995). Acknowledging sexual harassment: A test of alternative models. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 17(4), 469-496.
Taiwo, M.O., Omole, C.O. & Omole, O.E. (2014). Sexual Harassment and Psychological Consequence among Students in Higher Education Institution in Osun State, Nigeria. International Journal of Applied Psychology, 4(1), 13-18
Tangri, S. S. & Hayes, S. M. (1997). Theories of sexual harassment. In W. O’Donohue (Ed.), Sexual harassment: Theory, research, and treatment (pp. 112-128). Boston, USA: Allyn & Bacon.
Thomas, A. M., & Kitzinger, C. (1997). Sexual harassment. Contemporary feminist perspectives. (Eds). Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS Scales.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268365132_ [accessed Sep 28 2018].
Whaley, G. L. (2001). Toward an Integrative Model of Sexual Harassment: An Examination of Power, Attitudes, Gender/Role Match, and Some Interactions.Managing Diversity in the Military: Research Perspectives from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, 373.
Yahaya, L.A. (1990). Age, religion and students’/lecturers’ perception of sexual harassment: A case study of University of Ilorin. Ilorin Journal of Education, 10.
- There are currently no refbacks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.