Incidences of Sexual Harassment: Cases from Nortern Cyprus
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Sexual harassment is not a new phenomenon. It has probably existed as long as both sexes have been in existence. Sexual harassment is harassment or unwelcome attention of a sexual nature.
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It includes a variety of behaviors, including mild transgressions and annoyances to serious abuses, which also involves forced sexual activity (Boland, 2002). Males as harassers and females as victims are the most common types of sexual harassment (O’Donohue et al, 1998).
Research on sexual harassment usually falls into two categories: (1) investigating the dimensions of sexual harassment, and (2) investigating the factors that influence an individual’s perception of sexual harassment (Tata, 1993, cited in LaRocca, 1999). These factors include severity of the behavior, context in which the behavior occurs i. e. , power differentials, and incidental attributes of the persons involved i. e. , physical attractiveness.
Rubin and Borges (cited in LaRocca, 1999) found that about 70 % of the women they surveyed reported some form of sexual harassment while attending classes at a university, and that majority of these sexual harassment incidents went unreported. Sexual harassment has been acknowledged to be a widespread and recurring problem in employment as well as educational settings (LaRocca, 1999). Sexual harassment in schools is recognized as a public health problem detrimental to students’ psychosomatic health (Gadin, 2002, cited in Witkowski, 2005).
Awareness of harassment in an organization gives rise to psychological distress among individuals who have not been directly victimized (Schneider, 2001, cited in Witkowska, 2005). Studies have usually examined harassment and abuse in isolation rather than in the context of the total academic experience (Carr et al, 2006). Financial loss is a major consequence of sexual harassment to organizations (Worsfold and McCann, 2000), and it is more expensive to ignore the problem of sexual harassment than to provide training to the employees and employers, or students as the case may be.
Sexual harassment has negative repercussions on the individual, the organization, and the community in general (O’Donohue, Downs, and Yeater, 1998). Headaches, backaches, nausea, weight loss or gain, sleep disturbance, neck pain, tiredness and psychological reactions, such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger, shame, guilt, helplessness, isolation, lowered self-esteem, lowered self-confidence, and nervousness are common for both working women and female college students who fall prey to sexual harassment (American Association of University Women, 2002).
College students are known to have forfeited work, research, education comfort and even future career, due to sexual harassment (American Association of University Women, 2002). Thacker (1996), further states that formal education is an important factor in an individual’s career and personal development, and so stunting or obstructing a person’s educational accomplishment can have severe consequences. Formerly, sexual harassment has been seen largely as an instance of regular males’ sex pursuit of women in the workplace or classroom.
However, researchers have begun to turn from studying sexual harassment as a problem between individuals, to a problem of organizational climate (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html). Thus, this study hopes to shed light on the nature of the organizational climate of E. M. U. This is because studying the perception of students on their understanding of what construes sexual behavior will provide an avenue for E. M. U to create and implement sexual harassment policies that will provide a sexual harassment-free studying environment for students.
It also creates a foundation for further research. Schools may be considered as workplaces for students, just as they are for adult employees (Witkowska and Menckel, 2005). The school is an arena for students’ first contact with working life, and a place where they spend a large proportion of their time. 1. 1 Rationale for the Study In the course of carrying out a study on the incidences of sexual harassment of trainees in the tourism and hospitality industry of North Cyprus, the researcher found out that there was no clear cut definition of what sexual harassment means to these students.
It is essential that we reformulate our focus to identify what sexual harassment means for students of E. M. U. The study hopes to provide data and theoretical evidence on the context in which E. M. U students perceive sexual harassment. To be successful in today’s competitive organizational environment, it is important for the administration of Eastern Mediterranean University to realize the significance of a sexual harassment-free school environment. It is also important to understand how students feel about the issue.
Without a clear-cut definition of what constitutes sexual harassment, it will be difficult for the university to identify and deal with it. Because of the increase in incidences of sexual harassment in higher learning institutions (American Association of University Women, 2006), the negative psychological effects it has on students, e. g. , anxiety, tension, irritability, depression, headaches, lower morale, and the costs of lawsuit settlements increasing all over the world, it is with a pro-active view that this research looks at the perspective of sexual harassment by students in E. MU.
Previous studies have contended that the best way to reduce sexual harassment is through prevention (Newman, 2000, cited in Wanthanee et al, 2006). Most of the studies that have examined sexual harassment have been conducted in the United States and other Western countries, thus; the findings from these studies may not be applicable in North Cyprus, given the difference in values and culture between countries. Social-sexual behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment in some countries may be perceived as acceptable in another (Hardman and Heidelberg, 1996, cited in Limpaphayom et al, 2006).
Organizations need to establish effective sexual harassment policies and procedures, interventions and training programs to combat the problem (Newman, 2000, cited in Witowska, 2005). However, without a commonly accepted, behavioral –based definition of what constitutes sexual harassment, the degree to which the problem exists cannot be accurately assessed, an understanding of complaints and reactions cannot be reached, and organizations cannot accurately address the problem through policies or training (Nielson, 1996). More research is needed in terms of the effect of gender difference on sexual harassment perceptions and reactions.
Current literature based on the United States sample shows no clear consensus whether males and females agree on what behaviors constitute sexual harassment. Perceived gender difference on sexual harassment perceptions in other countries or cultures remain largely unexplored (Wanthanee et al, 2006). 1. 2 Aims of the Study Despite recent interest in sexual harassment in schools around the globe, research in North Cyprus and other European countries remains limited. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to investigate the perception of male and female students of E. M.
U in North Cyprus on sexual harassment. Thereby, the study aims to examine whether the sexual harassment construct varies across two specific genders, comparing male and female samples as to what behaviors may be perceived as sexual harassment. The present study builds on previous exploratory studies on sexual harassment and attempts to add to the development of a commonly accepted, behavioral based definition of a hostile work or school environment by identifying specific behaviors perceived by students to create a hostile school environment. Therefore, the aims of this study are: 1.
To identify specific sexual behaviors perceived by students as contributing to the creation of differing levels of a hostile work environment. 2. Identify how these perceptions vary across selected demographic factors. 3. Identify how these perceptions are formed. 4. Provide recommendations to E. M. U. concerning the development and implementation of sexual harassment policies and procedures. 1. 4 Scope Of The Study The study will discuss the definition, theories and effects of sexual harassment, with emphasis on perceived differences of male and female gender.
It will also give details of the classifications and categories of sexual harassment, with in-depth review of past research on the topic. Further, the study will focus on students who are registered full time in E. M. U. Based on the findings of the study and previous research, results will be analyzed and concluded. 1. 5 Outline of the Thesis The thesis has four chapters will comprise of 5 Chapters. Chapter One gives a background of the entire study, outlining a brief background of the topic, and stating the aims and objectives of the study.
It also states the rationale as to why the subject of sexual harassment was chosen for the study. Chapter Two presents a review of the literature. It discusses what previous researches have concluded about the definition, classification, effects and incidences of sexual harassment, placing emphasis on the perceived differences of males and females on sexual harassment. It will also give information about Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus, where the sample will be taken.
Chapter Three gives detailed information about how the data set for the study are collected. Data for the study were collected through survey of the students, with questions asked based on the 5 categories of sexual harassment. Thus, the research will use quantitative methodology, using target sampling method to collect primary data. Chapter Four presents the findings. This section presents a detailed report on the perception of the respondents on the context of sexual harassment, supported by the researcher’s conclusions based on past literature and research.
Respondents are categorized based on how they report their perceptions, experiences, and how they feel about it. Chapter Five presents a discussion of the findings, limitations faced in collecting data, and the conclusion. In this final chapter, suggestions are proffered to the University administration on how to educate students on issues and policies of sexual harassment. Finally, future research areas are proposed. CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE 2. 1 Defining Sexual Harassment
The definition of sexual harassment adopted by the European Commission in 1991 refers to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women or men at work. This includes unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct (Witkowska, 2005). According to Dziech et al (1990), sexual harassment is harassment or unwelcome attention of a sexual nature. It includes a variety of behaviors that include mild transgressions, serious abuses, and can involve forced sexual activity.
EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in the United States, defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual, or where such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with the individual’s work performance, or creates an offensive, hostile or intimidating working environment. (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1992, cited in Limpaphayom et al, 2006).
One chief difficulty in defining sexual harassment is that people with different demographic and/or social backgrounds have different perceptions of what sexual harassment consists of (Foulis and McCabe, 1997, cited in Lin, 2004). Inconsistencies and disagreements on what actually constitutes a hostile working environment and the degree to which sexual harassment is present in the workplace may be the result of two important factors: first, sampling differences found in previous research, and second, lack of a commonly accepted, behavioral based definition of sexual harassment (Nielson, 1996).
In November 1993, the Supreme court handed down a decision in Harris versus Forklift Systems Inc, that no longer required complainants to prove that a hostile or abusive environment caused them psychological injury- the complainant needed to simply show that the defendant’s behavior was either physically threatening or humiliating or unreasonably interfered with his or her work (Reynolds, 1994, cited in Nielson, 1996).
Based on the above decision, it is clear that there is still no accepted definition of sexual harassment. Individual interpretation is inherent in the identification of a hostile work environment. Behavior that is considered harassing by one individual may not be harassment to someone else, and the reason for these differences in perceptions remain unclear. Sexual harassment seems to be in the eyes of the person being harassed, and it is left to the courts to decide what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behavior.
Although the researcher realizes that it is difficult to define the exact boundaries of sexual harassment, for the purpose of this study, sexual harassment is defined as unacceptable conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex that interferes with a student’s right to a supportive, respectful and safe learning environment in school, or that affects a student’s dignity in a negative way. This definition includes both the quid pro quo and hostile work environment types of harassment listed by the European Commission, which captures a broad range of behaviors so as to better describe the nature of sexual harassment in school.
Also, because schools are mainly educational institutions, it is necessary to evaluate standards of school behavior related to sexual harassment in a broader learning context than is the case for working adults. 2. 2 Theories of Sexual Harassment. 1. Sociobiology- This perspective argues that males are biologically programmed to be sexual aggressors and that sexual behavior in the workplace is an aspect of biological inheritance (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html).
Proponents of this theory agree that though sexual behavior in the workplace is inappropriate, it is however, unavoidable, and argue that acting in accordance with one’s biological impulses should not be considered offensive or illegal ( Murrey, 2000). 2. Patriarchy- This perspective holds that men have social, political and economic power over women, and women are defined by the system as sexual in nature (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html). In some cultures, women are confined to the home as wives and mothers and female children are not formally educated.
In other cultures (such as that of the researcher of the present survey, in Nigeria), women are not confined to the home, but, stereotypes about appropriate male and female behavior assign women a subordinate sexualized identity. Proponents of this theory believe that social structure must change before harassment can be eliminated. This can be done if both men and women are taught about the nature of stereotyping, and there are no links between power and sexuality (Barth and Raymon, 1995). 3.
Culture- This perspective maintains that men and women are socialized into different cultures, different beliefs, values and ways of communication (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html). Proponents here believe that traditionally, the workplace has been a male culture where men joke and tease each other, and talk about women in a not too respectful manner, so, women who want to enter this scene should not expect men to change their culture in a minute; however men must learn to work along with women in the workplace (Taylor, J. K, 1999).
Another argument here is that, suggesting that comments about sex are more offensive to women than men is stereotyping and it is gender discrimination, so the culture of the workplace should be a culture of respect towards all persons. 4. Discourse-The discursive perspective holds that communication creates and shapes social reality, so that communicative practices create assumptions about the nature of the world, which influence our opinions and behavior (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. tml). This means that feelings and emotions are defined and taught so that people who harass and people who are harassed come to feel these behaviors are normal. Until recently, incidences of sexual harassment were not seen as inappropriate, but instead seen as normal in men’s conduct towards women (Wood, J, 1994). 2. 3 Classification of Sexual Harassment Hadjifotou (1983) classified sexual harassment into 5 categories: 1. Sexual remarks, jokes, catcalls, whistling and teasing, or personal remarks about parts of the body, particularly legs, breast and hair.
These forms of harassment are the hardest to identify and tackle. 2. Suggestive look and gestures, staring and leering. Such unwanted behavior is threatening because there is no immediate escape at work. Ignoring this behavior carries the risk of the harasser increasing his actions; acknowledging the harasser’s interest may be taken as acceptance; and complaining may be difficult if the harasser has power over the woman’s job. For example, a lady narrated how her boss will stand with his hands in his pockets as if rubbing his genitals. (Farley, p. 116, cited in Hadjifotu, 1983). . Persistent demands for dates and sexual favors either from a supervisor or co-worker. Direct questions and comments of the sort cannot be easily ignored. Two scenarios may result from this: rejection or avoidance of the harasser may fuel the myth that women ‘like to play hard to get’, and/or it may be difficult to persuade the harasser that his attentions are unwanted. An example is given of a woman whose boss visited her at odd hours during her night shift, asking her to have an affair with him, a night out, an afternoon, or just half an hour. (Night Nurse p. 4, cited in Hadjifotou, 1983). 4. Touching, pinching, caressing and hugging. A familiar excuse for this type of behavior is that it demonstrates friendship, but when the action is unwanted and repeated, it cannot be mistaken for genuine concern for a person’s well-being. (Kitchen Helper, p. 67, cited in Hadjifotou, 1983. ) 5. Violent sexual assault, rape or attempted rape. Such cases account for a very small proportion of sexual harassment at work. Fitzgerald et al (1988), using Till’s (1980) study on sexual harassment of college women, identified how sexual harassment progresses.
This study describes 5 categories of sexual harassment which are all similar to that of Hadjifotou (1983) above to describe the 5 levels of sexual harassment: 1 -gender harassment: generalized sexist remarks and behavior. 2 -seductive behavior: inappropriate and offensive, but essentially sanction-free, sexual advances. 3 -sexual bribery: solicitation of sex activity or other sex linked behavior by promise of rewards. 4 -sexual coercion: coercion of sex activity by threat of punishment. 5 -sexual assault: gross sexual imposition Fitzgerald et al (1988) believe that gender harassment is perceived as the east serious behavior of sexual harassment, while sexual assault is perceived as the most serious of all the behaviors of sexual harassment. This means that the 5 levels of sexual harassment that have been identified is on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 is equal to less severe and 5 is equal to most severe. However, it is believed that gender harassment often leads to eventual sexual assault. Pattinson (1991) states that though sexual harassment does not just involve having sexual intercourse, it is more often than not the prime motivation. 2. 4 Effects Of Sexual Harassment on University Students
It is difficult to assess the actual extent of the effects of sexual harassment as a whole. Though many studies indicate the issue to be widespread and take a serious toll on the victim, critics say that many studies get response only from people who have experienced sexual harassment, and such experiences might be exaggerated (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html). In schools however, many scholars complain that sexual harassment remains an unspoken secret, with teachers and administrators refusing to admit the problem exists in their schools, thereby, not accepting their legal and ethical responsibilities to deal with it. Dziech and Weiner, 1990). A 2002 study of students in the 8th to 11th grade, undertaken by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), revealed that 83% of girls have been sexually harassed and 28% of boys have been sexually harassed, by teachers and colleagues, (AAUW, 2002). Also in the association’s study, it was reported that 62% of female college students and 61% of male college students have been sexually harassed in their universities, with 80% of the reported harassments being peer-to-peer (AAUW, 2006).
Headaches, backaches, nausea, weight loss or gain, sleep disturbance, neck pain, tiredness and psychological reactions, such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger, shame, guilt, helplessness, isolation, lowered self-esteem, lowered self-confidence, and nervousness are common for university students who fall prey to sexual harassment (AAUW, 2002). College students are known to have forfeited work, research, education comfort and even future career, due to sexual harassment (AAUW, 2002).
Thacker, (1996) argues that formal education is an important factor in an individual’s career and personal development, and so stunting or obstructing a person’s educational accomplishment can have severe consequences. Further negative effects include lower morale, decreased job satisfaction, and poor time-keeping (Stanford and Gardiner, 1993). Previous researches have shown that over a period of time, even low level frequent sexual harassment can lead to significant negative consequences for student victims. (Schneider et al, 1997).
According to Hadjifotou (1983), common effects on the college victims are: – Decreased work or school performance, and increased absenteeism. – Loss of job or career, which in turn leads to loss of income. – Having to drop courses, change academic plans. – Defamation of character and reputation. – Loss of reference and/or recommendations. In addition to the above, a survey of 903 female students conducted by Fitzgerald et al in 1988 (cited in Lin, 2006), at a University in the US Midwest, reported that victims of sexual harassment did not report their experiences because of 3 reasons: 1.
They felt they might not be believed. 2. They did not want to cause trouble or be labeled as trouble makers. 3. They rather dealt with the problem themselves or, they had not perceived it as serious enough to be reported. 2. 5 Effects of Sexual Harassment on the Organization and the Community Sexual harassment is a widespread and continuing problem in workplaces and schools that cuts through occupational and professional categories, age groups, educational backgrounds, racial and ethnic groups and affects everybody (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html).
On October 6, 1991, Anita Hill, a University Law Professor, notified the United States Judiciary Commission that she had been repeatedly harassed by Judge Clarence Thomas, a Washington DC Circuit Judge nominated to sit on the US Supreme court by President Bush. This incidence, Anita reported, occurred a decade earlier when they both worked at the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Barton and Eichelberger, 1994). The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported a $1 million settlement of a class action lawsuit against Grace Culinary Systems, Inc. and Townsend Culinary, Inc. lleging egregious sexual harassment of 22 Hispanic women at a food processing plant in Laurel, Maryland. The suit charged the companies with routinely subjecting the female workers, all recent immigrants from Central America who spoke limited English, to unwanted groping and explicit requests for sexual favors by male managers and co-workers over several years (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html). The governor of Osaka was ordered to pay $ 107,000 to a university student in Japan’s largest sexual harassment verdict, a ruling described as revolutionary in the size of the award and one that is expected to lead to more court cases.
Japan has seen a growing number of lawsuits since a revised labor law prohibiting sexual harassment and sex discrimination took effect last April. In July, a court awarded $87,000 to a woman who said she was harassed and forced into a sexual relationship by a piano teacher while she was a university student (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html). WR Grace & Co agreed to a $1 million settlement in a sexual harassment suit. Managers at a food processing facility in Maryland were charged by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the harassment of 22 female workers from Central America.
The violations included the demanding of oral sex, touching of the women and exposing themselves to the women. According to commission officials, two pregnant women who refused the men’s advances were fired (www. de2. psu. edu/harssment/generalinfo. html). As is seen in the examples above, financial loss is a major consequence of sexual harassment to organizations (Worsfold and McCann, 2000), and it is more expensive to ignore the problem of sexual harassment than to provide training to the employees and employers.
Government officials are not left out in the criticisms and lawsuits levied against them on sexual harassment matters. In a 1990 survey of employees of the US Defense Department (Barton and Eichelberger, 1994), 64 percent of the findings in the military reported that they had endured sexual harassment while in service. Also surveyed are the cases of at least a dozen Senior Naval Officers who had been reassigned or demoted over charges of them harassing female Officers at a Las Vegas convention in the summer of 1991 (Barton and Eichelberger, 1994).
O’Donohue et al (1998), summarize some of the effects of sexual harassment on the organizations as follows: -Decreased productivity: when sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, the individuals involved will be psychologically affected and may not perform as well as they ought. -Increased absenteeism of staff: staff that experience sexual harassment behaviors in the workplace tend to make excuses for not showing up for work. Increased healthcare costs and sick pay costs: in organizations where sexual harassment behaviors are prevalent, staff will incur more healthcare and sick pay costs during post harassment treatment. -Decreased ethical standards and discipline in the organization: organizations that condone sexual harassment behaviors and do not do anything about it will find a decrease in their ethical standards and discipline because employees will act in anyway they like knowing there will be no consequences. This is also bad for victims as they will feel no one cares about their predicament. Legal costs if complainants take issue to court: when victims file lawsuits against organizations, costs are incurred in settling the complainants or paying for the services of attorneys. 2. 6 Effects of Sexual Harassment on the Individual Rubenstein (1992) identifies anxiety, tension, irritability, depression, headaches, sleeplessness, fatigue and deterioration of personal relationships as stress related consequences of sexual harassment. Further negative effects on the individual include lower morale, decreased job satisfaction, and poor time-keeping (Stanford and Gardiner, 1993).
Previous researches have shown that over a period of time, even low level frequent sexual harassment can lead to significant negative consequences for the victim (Schneider et al, 1997). 2. 7 Gender Differences In Sexual Harassment Sensitivity Gender has been a dominant aspect of sexual harassment research and has been shown to be a predictor of sexual harassment sensitivity (Crow et al, 1995). Research by Crow et al also suggests that males and females, do, in fact, differ in sensitivity to harassment.
Major differences were found in the reaction to harassment of a non-sexual nature where women were more likely than men to perceive a given incident as harassment. As human beings, we grow up to be aware of who we are through being exposed to particular interpretations of what it is to be human- in this case, either male or female, masculine or feminine (Linstead et al, 2005). Traditionally, sexual harassment sensitivity has been looked at in terms of social-sexual behaviors based on gender (Crow et al, 1995).
The traditional view from research is that gender has a significant impact on sex-role behaviors and sexual behaviors. It has become apparent that men and women automatically have different orientations towards sexually-related behaviors, which in turn results in different perceptions to sexual harassment (Reilly et al, 1986, cited in Crow et al, 1995). Tangri et al in their 1982 study (cited in Lin, 2006), state that females are more sexually attractive and so are more socially disadvantaged than their male counterparts. Therefore, Lin (2006) argues that females are more vulnerable to harassment than the males.
Males as harassers and females as victims is the most common type of sexual harassment (O’Donohue et al, 1998). Men seem to be more tolerant of sexual harassment than women and tend to rate hypothetical scenarios and specific social behaviors as less harassing than women (Gutek, 1985 cited in Crow et al, 1995). Women are assumed to resent sexual overtures at work and tend to react more negatively to sexual harassment scenarios than men. Gender differences occur because men and women weigh information about the victim and the harasser differently (Carr et al, 1999).
Men tend to be more influenced by incidental behaviors of the victim. For example, Pryor and Day, in their 1988 research (cited in Carr et al, 1999), found that men were more influenced than women by the information of how the victim dressed, thereby, attributing more blame to the victim than the harasser. Researchers of past surveys have had difficulty in defining sexual harassment and have attempted to identify behaviors that constitute sexual harassment by respondents of their survey (Worsfold and McCann, 2000).
However, the most commonly reported forms of sexual harassment are gender related derogatory remarks, suggestive looks, and sexual comments ( Stanford and Gardiner, 1983). CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY 1. Introduction This chapter outlines the research method, research design, and the research sample. The research method gives detailed information about the type of research that was utilized for this study and gives reasons why it was used. It also gives information on the kind of data that will be collected and which sources will be used.
The research design gives information on the survey instrument used for the study, explaining the questions and their source. The research sample provides the reader with the population used for this survey and the reason why it was used for this study. 2. Research Methodology This research is an inquiry into the perceived differences on sexual harassment between male and female students of EMU, examining the size of the gender difference within specific behavioral categories in an attempt to identify those behaviors that produce the largest difference and provide accurate information about the actual size of the gender difference.
Thus, this study uses the quantitative approach to test the hypotheses. The aim for using this method is to determine whether the predictive generalizations of the hypotheses hold true. The researcher uses questionnaires to collect data, and remains objectively separated from the subject matter of the research. 3. Survey A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents.
Questionnaires were chosen for this research because this research involves a large sample, thereby making data entry and tabulation easier to analyze. Also, questionnaire surveys are familiar to most people, and generally do not make people apprehensive in answering questions. In addition, the researcher’s own opinions will not influence the respondent to answer questions in a certain manner, reducing bias, and also are less intrusive than telephone or face-to-face surveys, as the respondent is free to complete the questionnaire on his/her own time-table. 3. 1 Questionnaire Design
This survey is designed to provide information distinguishing between reactions to both pervasiveness and severity of particular behaviors, as well as to provide information distinguishing between reactions to gender harassment, seductive behavior and sexual imposition. The questionnaire design used for this research was adopted from Nielson (1996). Nielson (1996) examined the perception of sexual harassment, focusing on the female office professional’s perspective. Self administered questionnaires will be given to respondents with assurance that data will only be used for this thesis research and not for any other purpose.
The items of the survey instrument will be prepared in English and then translated into Turkish by using the back translation method. There will be a pilot study of students who will be given questionnaires to complete, so that the researcher could confirm if the questionnaire was well understood by the respondents. After confirming the questions were understood, the researcher will hand out the questionnaires to students in various classrooms after taking permission from the University administration. Questionnaires returned by the espondents will be analyzed using Windows SPSS 0. 8 and used according to the respective objectives and occasions. 300 questionnaires will be distributed. Demographic explanations for differing perceptions of sexual harassment will be tested based on the following research and proposed hypothesis. Based on the assumption that females are inclined to find social sexual behavior (dating and flirting) as more severe than boys, this study proposes that: H1- Female students will perceive potentially harassing behavior as more severe than male students.
Research found that men were more influenced than women by the information of how the victim dressed, thereby, attributing more blame to the victim than the harasser. Based on this information, the study proposes that: H2- male students will judge the victim more harshly than female students. Research shows that a person’s previous experience with regard to sexual harassment influences gender difference in perceptions of sexual harassment (Blakely et al, 1992, cited in Nielson, 1996).
This means that if one has experienced sexual harassment behaviors, he/she will be more conscious and less tolerant of behavior considered as harassment. Based on this, this study proposes that: H3- students who respond to having been sexually harassed will perceive potentially harassing behavior as more severe than those who respond to not having been sexually harassed. Previous research shows that studies investigating sexual harassment has tended to exclude behaviors which are perceived to have a low potential to harass and have also provided respondents with limited responses.
In attempting to deal with these issues, this survey utilized in this study is designed to measure students’ perceptions of a wide range of actual workplace behaviors which create varying levels of a hostile work environment. Within this variety of behaviors, both severity and frequency of the behavior will be manipulated. Therefore, the continuum to be used for this study is as follows: 1. Likely to consider it a compliment 2. Socially acceptable behavior 3. Annoying, but not likely to affect my studies 4. Disturbing to the point of affecting my studies, but no formal complaint 5.
Basis for formal complaint, but not a lawsuit. 6. Basis for a lawsuit. The use of response options beyond formal complaint is to enhance the identification of behaviors that create a hostile work environment. Though such behaviors are typically not reported, they may have an adverse effect on the victim’s productivity, moral absenteeism and turnover. 3. 2 Survey Items. 1. Comment: “your hair looks nice” 2. Comment: “have you lost weight? ” 3. Comment: “ you have nice legs” 4. Comment: “your skirt is very short” 5. Comment: “your neckline is very low’ 6. Comment: “your clothes fit like a glove” . Comment: “you have an attractive build” 8. Opposite sex touches your hands 9. Opposite sex touches your arms/shoulder 10. Opposite sex asking for a date 11. Opposite sex touches your back 12. Opposite sex telling off-color jokes 13. Student forced into sex in school 14. Opposite sex asking for sexual favors 15. Opposite sex touches your breasts 16. Hugs with caresses from opposite sex 17. Opposite sex touches your buttock 18. Opposite sex describing sexual abilities 19. Opposite sex staring, persistently 20. Observing peers having sex in the school environment 21.
Peers discussing sexually related stories 22. magazines with pictures of people scantily clothed 23. Opposite sex touches your face 4. Research Sample The questionnaire survey will focus on students of E. M. U. in North Cyprus, who are registered as full time students. Purposive sampling is a sampling method in which elements are chosen based on purpose of the study. Purposive sampling may involve studying the entire population of some limited group (example, sociology faculty at Bilkent University) or a subset of a population (example, EMU faculty who has won a Nobel Prizes).
As with other non-probability sampling methods, purposive sampling does not produce a sample that is representative of a larger population, but it can be exactly what is needed in some cases – study of organization, community, or some other clearly defined and relatively limited group. In this study, purposive sampling method was used, as the researcher decided to focus on students whose profiles are given above to get the specific information for the research. Table 3. 1 Questionnaire This questionnaire survey aims to investigate the perception of male and female students of EMU on sexual harassment.
The researcher wishes to find out from you, whether the sexual harassment construct varies across two specific genders, comparing male and female samples as to what behaviors may be perceived as sexual harassment. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, be assured that whatever you say or write is strictly confidential and cannot be traced back to you, as you are not requested to write your name or any other personal information. Please answer the questions honestly and sincerely, as it is important for the output of this research. 1.
What is your gender? a. Male b. Female 2. What age group are you? a. 16-20 b. 20-24 c. 25-28 3. What is your educational level at EMU? a. Year 1 b. Year 2 c. Year 3 d. Year 4 e. Graduate student. 4. What is your nationality? 5. For each of the scenarios depicted below, how would you rate such behavior? (In reference to the school environment). Kindly mark ‘X’ in boxes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 (as applicable to you). Where; 1= Likely to consider it a compliment. 2= Socially acceptable behavior. 3= Annoying, but not likely to affect my studies. = Disturbing to the point of affecting my studies, but no formal complaint 5= Basis for formal complaint, but not a lawsuit. 6= Basis for a lawsuit. 1 2 3 4 56 1. Comment: “your hair looks nice” 2. Comment: “have you lost weight? ” 3. Comment: “ you have nice legs” 4. comment: “your skirt is very short” 5. Comment: “your neckline is very low’ 6. Comment: “your clothes fit like a glove” 7. Comment: “you have an attractive build” 8. Opposite sex touches your hands 9. Opposite sex touches your arms/shoulders 10.
Opposite sex asking for a date 11. Opposite sex touches your back 12. Opposite sex telling off-color jokes 13. Student forced into sex in school 14. Opposite sex asking for sexual favors 15. Opposite sex touches your breasts 16. Hugs with caresses from opposite sex 17. Opposite sex touches your buttocks 18. Opposite sex describes sexual abilities 19. Opposite sex staring, persistently 20. Observing peers having sex in the school environment 21. magazines with pictures of people scantily clothed 22. Peers discussing sexually related stories 23. Opposite sex touches your face 6.
Please define what sexual harassment means to you——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Thank you very much for taking time out to help me in my research.
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