Both boys and girls affected by sexual harassment

May 14, 2008

Although girls experience sexual harassment more frequently than boys, boys are still negatively affected by the indirect consequences of this harassment, according to a recent study.

Although girls experience sexual harassment more frequently than boys, boys are still negatively affected by the indirect consequences of this harassment, according to a recent study.

As reported in the June Psychology of Women Quarterly, investigators surveyed roughly 300 girls and 250 boys from seven public high schools. Girls reported more frequent and upsetting harassment experiences from peers and from school personnel than boys did.

However, a school climate linked to experiences of sexual harassment was associated with feeling unsafe at school, withdrawing from school, and having lowered self-esteem for both boys and girls.

Furthermore, a climate that tolerated sexual harassment of girls was the major factor associated with negative psychological, health, and educational outcomes in boys.