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Experiences of sexual harassment of female and male students at Makerere University

Nyende, P

Sexual harassment, the unfair use of influence, power, or authority by one person over another or a lack of respect for another person, has been reported at Makerere University in Uganda. However, no systematic study has been carried out to investigate the types, forms and magnitude of the sexual harassment problem at Makerere University. This study investigated the sensitivity of male and female students of varying secondary school backgrounds to sexual harassment, the prevalence of male - to - female and female - to - male sexual harassment, as well as the relationship between self-esteem nd sexual harassment encounters. The study employed both comparative and co-relational designs. The comparative design was used on levels of sexual harassment sensitivity between males and females, and prevalence rates of male-to-female and female-to-male harassment. The co-relational design was employed to assess the relationship between self-esteem and sexual harassment encounters. Participants included 226 male and 325 female students. The Rosenberg 10-item Self-Esteem Scale, the 20-item Sexual Harassment Sensitivity Scale and the 16-item Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ-DoDs) were administered. The SEQDoDs was developed as a common measure to capture sexual harassment experiences of both males and females. The study found that female students at Makerere University with a background of a Single Sex Boarding Secondary Schools (SSBSS) were more sensitive to sexual harassment than students from Mixed Boarding Secondary Schools (MBSS)(P=0.026). School background had no influence on the sensitivity of males. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of sexual harassment between male and female students (sexist behavior P= 0.224; crude and offensive behavior P=0.63; unwanted sexual attention P= 0.077; and Sexual Coercion P= 0.501). However, females were more sensitive than males to unwanted sexual experiences (P=0.000). This suggests that women perceive greater ranges of behaviors as sexually harassing than men. There was no significant relationship between self-esteem and sexual harassment. There is a need to increase sensitisation regarding sexual harassment among students at Makerere University.

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Document Title: Experiences of sexual harassment of female and male students at Makerere University
Journal: Makerere University Research Journal (MURJ)
Volume: 1
Issue: 2
No. of Pages: 125 - 132

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Students
Keywords:Uganda, Makerere University, Sexual behaviour, Sexual Harassment, Students Experience

File Size:57 KB
Rights:Permission granted by author and publisher
Date Added:25 April 2008

Nyende, P (2006). Experiences of sexual harassment of female and male students at Makerere University.Makerere University Research Journal (MURJ) vol.1(2) pp. 125 - 132