Monday, June 11, 2012

Sexual Misconduct in Schools

From Study to Study. Toy Soldiers pointed me to an interesting article:

A 2004 report mandated by Congress estimated that 4.5 million, or 9.6 percent, of America’s public-school students are victims of educator sexual misconduct by the time they reach 12th grade. Of those cases, 30 percent are boys abused by women working in schools, according report author and Virginia Commonwealth University professor Charol Shakeshaft, the nation’s leading researcher in what she calls “educator sexual misconduct.”

That sounded somewhat similar to the numbers I have heard before to cite from a CDC source:

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - 2007 - Page 47 Table 11

Percentage of high school students who experienced dating violence and who were ever physically forced to have sexual intercourse
Male 11% raped 4.5%
Female 8.8% raped 11.3%

The report itself was pretty interesting, too:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature - Charol Shakeshaft - 2004

Although I identified nearly 900 citations in the literature that discussed educator sexual misconduct in some format, there were only 14 U.S. and five Canadian or UK empirical studies on educator sexual misconduct. Of the U.S. studies, only one (Shakeshaft, 1994, 1995) received federal funding (U.S. Department of Education). None of these studies—either singly or as a group—answers all of the reasonable questions that parents, students, educators, and the public ask about educator sexual misconduct, and they certainly do not provide information at a level of reliability and validity appropriate to the gravity of these offenses. [...] Four studies include survey data from national samples, but only the American Association of University Women (AAUW) studies are based upon data from a representative national sample (AAUW, 1993; 2001; Cameron et al., 1986; Stein, Marshall, and Tropp, 1993; SESAME, 1997). [...] The AAUW Hostile Hallways surveys, administered to a nationwide sample of 8th to 11th-grade students in 1993 and again in 2000, are the only studies that provide reliable nationwide U.S. data on educator misconduct. The purpose of these two studies was not specifically to document educator sexual misconduct. Peer sexual harassment is the primary focus of the surveys and the reports. However, the data from these studies were subjected to a secondary reanalysis which focused only on educator sexual misconduct (Shakeshaft, 2003). [...] As a group, these studies present a wide range of estimates of the percentage of U.S. students subject to sexual misconduct by school staff and vary from 3.7 to 50.3 percent (Table 5). Because of its carefully drawn sample and survey methodology, the AAUW report that nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career presents the most accurate data available at this time.

Reading the above, I will focus on the AAUW studies.

Table 8. Sex of Offenders
AAUW and Shakeshaft secondary analysis (2003)
Male: 57.2% Female: 42.8%

Cameron et al. (1985)
Male: 57% Female: 43%

Table 9. Same-Sex Misconduct
AAUW and Shakeshaft secondary analysis (2003)
Male-Male: 15.2% Female-Female: 13.1% Same Sex: 28.3%

Cameron et al. (1985)
Male-Male: 8.9% Female-Female: 8.9% Same Sex: 17.8%

Table 11. Targets by Sex
AAUW and Shakeshaft secondary analysis (2003)
Male: 44% Female: 56%

Cameron et al. (1985)
Male: 43% Female: 57%

The AAUW study was also available online and gives us a lot of details:

Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in School - AAUW - 2001

Major Findings:

Significant numbers of students are afraid of being hurt or bothered in their school lives. [...] Girls and boys are almost equally likely to feel this way [...] Girls are more likely than boys to experience sexual harassment ever (83 percent vs. 79 percent) or often (30 percent vs. 24 percent).

Would You Complain to a School Employee If
Another Student Harassed You? (% Saying Yes)
Boys: 29% Girls: 52%

a School Employee Harassed You? (% Saying Yes)
Boys: 67% Girls: 76%

How Often Do You Experience Sexual Harassment?
Often, occasionally, rarely:
Boys: 79% Girls: 83%

Often, occasionally:
Boys: 56% Girls: 63%

Boys: 24% Girls: 30%

Personal Experiences of Nonphysical Harassment
Target of sexual comments, jokes, gestures, or looks
Boys: 59% Girls: 73%

Target of sexual rumors:
Boys: 32% Girls: 39%

Target to be flashed or “mooned”:
Boys: 39% Girls: 32%

Being Called gay/lesbian:
Boys: 42% Girls: 29%

showed, gave, or left them sexual photographs,
illustrations, messages, or notes
Boys: 35% Girls: 28%

Personal Experiences of Physical Harassment
Touched, grabbed, or pinched in a sexual way
Boys: 42% Girls: 57%

Intentionally brushed up against in a sexual way
Boys: 42% Girls: 53%

Clothing pulled at in a sexual way
Boys: 28% Girls: 34%

Blocked or cornered in a sexual way
Boys: 23% Girls: 34%

Forced to kiss someone
Boys: 7% Girls: 7%

Clothes pulled down
Boys: 19% Girls: 12%

Forced them to do something sexual other than kissing
Boys: 12% Girls: 9%

Who did you tell
No one (Nonphysical Harassment)
Boys: 24% Girls: 17%

No one (Physical Harassment)
Boys: 27% Girls: 14%

Judging by the above boys are not that rarely victims of sexual harassment, rape and educator sexual misconduct. Who would have thought? (Besides my educated readers of course)

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