Academic sexual harassment: sexual harassment of students
Pickrell, Juliana Evan Holway
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This study examines remedies for sexual harassment of students in the college or university setting. As an instrument to promote social change, the law can reflect changes in attitudes or can be a means of enforcing desired change. Harassment of students may be intellectual or physical, including words and actions which demean or insult women, unwanted touching, and seductive behavior. Academic sexual harassment occurs when the following elements are present: (1) Offensive or objectionable, sex-based behavior (words or actions) occurs in an academic relationship or context. (2) The sexuality or sexual identity of the victim is the motivating factor for the conduct. (3) The conduct was unwelcome, inappropriate, or exploitative. (4) The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the student's full enjoyment of educational benefits, climate, or opportunities. Sources of remedy include statutes, civil suits (in tort or breach of contract), administrative policy and procedures, criminal sanctions, and personal responses. Each has advantages and limitations. A combination of remedies, aggressively pursued, would be necessary to enforce the desired change in attitudes and behavior.Statutes which prohibit sex discrimination also require the institution to establish a policy and grievance procedures with appropriate sanctions, to prevent illegal sexual harassment. Students should keep good written records as evidence of the harassing behavior, the student's objections, and complaints to the proper authorities. If the institution's internal grievance procedures do not provide relief, legal action is recommended.
- Education - Seattle