Sexual harassment survey results

A sexual harassment survey of 24 questions was distributed to a convenience sample of 46 students in a college statistics class. The 46 students surveyed included 24 females and 22 males. The course has 60 students enrolled, predominantly listing their state of residence as Pohnpei. The unmarked blue sliver is a single student from Chuuk.

The survey was anonymous, thus there is no way to determine the actual state breakdown for the 46 students surveyed. The students were asked, "Which of the following do you believe is sexual harassment? (mark all that apply)"

The prompts are listed in descending order from those prompts which obtained the most marks to the least marked items. Of note is that even forced sexual acts were not deemed sexual harassment by all 46 respondents. The survey did not seek to determine whether some students might have been separating sexual harassment from criminal sexual activity such as rape.


PromptTotal n=46
Being forced to do something sexual44
Being touched in an unwelcome sexual way42
Threatening to rape someone because they look so good41
Unwanted physical touching41
Attempting sexual activity with someone who is under the influence of alcohol29
Having someone make unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures to or about you27
Receiving messages, text messages, emails with sexual content27
Being shown sexy or sexual pictures that you did not want to see25
Having someone flash or expose themselves to you25
Sharing intimate photos or videos of someone without their permission25
Stalking or cyberstalking25
Commenting on someone’s buttock or breast size24
Unwanted comments about your body or appearance21
Being called gay or lesbian in a negative way20
Persistence in asking someone out on a date after being told no17
Telling of sexist jokes in class by an instructor13
Whistling or hooting at a student of the other gender13
Hearing comments of a sexual nature12
Commenting by an instructor on how nice a particular student looks every time the instructor sees the student11
Commenting on how often someone hooks up9
Being in a private office with only one other person of the other sex6
Greeting someone and telling them they look nice today2
Learning about sexually sensitive topics in a classroom2
Sitting down at a table in the dining hall where only one person of the other gender is sitting alone1

Other prompts of note were that only 63% of the respondents felt that attempting sexual activity with someone who is under the influence of alcohol was a form of sexual harassment. 

All of the items are open to interpretation. For example, only 28% of the respondents felt that whistling or hooting at a student of the other gender was a form of sexual harassment. An informant who did not take the survey noted that this might be misconstrued as there are some types of hoots used to call to another person in some of the cultures. Anecdotally, there does seem to be a clearly distinguishable difference between a cultural calling hoot and a sexually loaded "wolf" whistle, a difference the students appear to be keenly aware of.

The survey also asked whether the respondent identified as a female or male. On some items there were gender differences. The following table is ordered in descending order based on the number of female respondents (n = 24) minus the number of male respondents (n = 22).

PromptFemaleMaleDiff F-M
Attempting sexual activity with someone who is under the influence of alcohol19109
Unwanted physical touching23185
Receiving messages, text messages, emails with sexual content16115
Being shown sexy or sexual pictures that you did not want to see15105
Persistence in asking someone out on a date after being told no1165
Commenting by an instructor on how nice a particular student looks every time the instructor sees the student835
Being forced to do something sexual24204
Commenting on someone’s buttock or breast size14104
Threatening to rape someone because they look so good22193
Having someone make unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures to or about you15123
Being touched in an unwelcome sexual way22202
Unwanted comments about your body or appearance11101
Telling of sexist jokes in class by an instructor761
Whistling or hooting at a student of the other gender761
Being called gay or lesbian in a negative way10100
Hearing comments of a sexual nature660
Learning about sexually sensitive topics in a classroom110
Having someone flash or expose themselves to you1213-1
Sharing intimate photos or videos of someone without their permission1213-1
Stalking or cyberstalking1213-1
Commenting on how often someone hooks up45-1
Sitting down at a table in the dining hall where only one person of the other gender is sitting alone01-1
Greeting someone and telling them they look nice today02-2
Being in a private office with only one other person of the other sex15-4
At the top the table are prompts that females differentially identify as harassing, the bottom are prompts which males perceive as more harassing. That zero is not in the middle of the table reflects that females tended to find prompts as harassing more often than males on an overall basis. These is also a small amount of bias in that 24 females were sampled versus 22 males. Thus a difference of +1 or +2 may only reflect this sample size difference. 

The table suggests that many males still consider sexual activity with an inebriated partner to be acceptable. Males also did not react as strongly to unwanted physical touching. The complex social dynamics of culture and family potentially play a role in these responses. 

The prompt at the bottom of the list is curious. Five males felt that being in a private office with only one other person of the other sex was a form of sexual harassment. In contrast only one female felt this was the case. This author cannot explain this result, the survey did not probe any deeper.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Box and whisker plots in Google Sheets

Setting up a boxplot chart in Google Sheets with multiple boxplots on a single chart

Creating histograms with Google Sheets