PREVALENCE AND CORRELATES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF FEMALE STUDENTS BY LECTURERS IN THE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
1.1 Background to the Study
The social vices called sexual harassment is not a new topic to the generality of people today especially in the tertiary institutions such as universities, polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education.As observed by Taiwo and Omole (2014:1) ,the fact is that, “in every human society where there is interaction between opposite sex, some levels of sexual attraction is expected. When this occurs, mutual interest and reciprocal response defines a civilized and socially acceptable sexual behaviour”. However, the increasing manifestation of social vices in higher institutions in Nigeria can be attributed to the poor quality of graduates being produced. One of such is sexual harassment that has continued to attract the attention of researchers and the media as a common phenomenon in the Higher education Institutions. This abnormal, antisocial behaviour has been accepted as a norm within the higher education institutions Nigeria and overseas.
Sexual harassment is a global issue that has permeated the fabrics of higher education institutions and many workplaces as long as humans (males and females) have reasons to interact. This vices in universities and other higher education institutions is not limited to Africa. Universities in Ghana and Tanzania have already integrated sexual harassment into course modules on Gender, Power and Sex to address the challenge ofmale lecturers demanding sex from female students in exchange for grades as a right.
In the USA, study among psychology studentsrevealed a higher prevalence of sexual harassment and unethical intimacy between postgraduate students and their supervisors than undergraduate students due to frequent face-to-face interaction when seeking advice on theirresearch studies. Higher education institutions in Nigeria are not left out of this saga, for instance, it has been affirmed that, in Nigeria sex for grades in the tertiary institutions is a reality and the male lecturers in particular, perceived themselves as thin gods and such unprofessional behaviour can be perpetuated unchecked. A similar study according to Taiwo and Omole, reported a high prevalence of sexual harassment both in the education institution and in the workplace. Sexual harassment takes on various trends and nature, but most importantly, it emanates from unequal power relation that is also associated with gender based violence and violation of human rights. In most cases, the harasser is usually older, powerful and poses something of value that is beneficial to the harassed. The trend of occurrence was reported totake several forms: from male lecturer to female student, from male students to female students, from male lecturers to female lecturers and non-academic staff and so on. In most cases, female students are most at risk as victims while the male lecturers are more likely to be the perpetuators. This trend presents an amazing and disturbing scene in an environment that is often believed to be a center of excellence for molding and developing virile leadership skills, high moral qualities and intellectual capacityfor human capital for future leadership.
Also,a number of factors have been enumerated as motivation for perpetuation of sexual harassment to include: lust, pursuit of happiness, lack of norm of morality, lack of conscience, pursuit of pleasure, lack of temperance, passion, habit, value, personality disorder, inferiority complex, immaturity, cheapness, abuse of power, and suffering from demonology. In addition, indecent dressing pattern among female students who almost go naked in their appearance can also be driving factors for continued incidence of sexual harassment. Many female students are so morally bankrupt that they rely absolutely on their womanhood for high grades without due preparation. Because this anomaly is has eaten deep into the fabric of our higher institutions in Nigeria, this study is set to check the prevalence in the tertiary institutions in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The institutions of focus include: University of Abuja and FCT College of Education.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The occurrence and prevalence of sexual harassment menace in the tertiary institutions in Nigeria has become a cankerworm that needs serious attention. Various researches in with similar interest have been carried out across the globe, but to the best of the researchers knowledge, no such in recent time has been done taking schools in FCT (that is University of Abuja and FCT College of Education) into consideration. That is the motivation for this study. The study is carried out to examine the prevalence of this menace among the male lecturers and female students in the University of Abuja and FCT College of Education respectively.
1.3Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to check the prevalence and correlates of sexual harassment in the University of Abuja and FCT College of Education. The objectives to drive this aim are below:
i. This study establishes that sexual Harassment has become a phenomenon in our tertiary institutions.
ii. It also establishes that the female students some times are the solicitors of the sex by their provoking and immoral dressing.
iii. The study establishes the consequences of sexual harassment on the academic and social life of the victims who are mostly women.
At the end of the study,the following questions would have been answered:
i. To what extent has sexual harassment become a phenomenon in our tertiary institutions?
ii. Are the female students the solicitors of sex?
iii. What are the consequences on the academic and social life of the victims?
1.5 Scope of the Study and the Limitation
This study is a check on the prevalence and correlates of sexual harassment by male lecturers on the female students in the tertiary institutions. The students of interest here are undergraduates. It therefore covers only University of Abuja FCT College of Education. The major challenge of this study is the inability of the researcher to reach out tothe actual victims of this menace for their fear of what may happen after admitting they were once sexually harassed. In other words, they fear that the research report may not be as confidential as the researcher claims and this may not favour them because it could lead to further intimidation by the supposed lecturer (s).
1.6Significance of Study
This study is designed to determine how academic field impacted the perceived sexualharassment experienced by female undergraduates in the FCT College of Education and University of Abuja. It will check and curtail the manace of sexual harassment which has psychological effects on the victims and consequently affects their academic and social life on campus.It is also the hope of this study to enable policy makers to create or improve policyinitiatives that protect the rights of female students in the target institutions and Nigeria at large.
1.7A Brief Profile of University of Abuja
The University of Abuja was established in January 1988 and academic work began 1990 with the matriculation of the pioneer students. Its establishement was informed by the imperative to provide an institution of higher leaning with in Abuja,the new Federal Capital Territory whose objectives will be in line with the ideals that informed the conception of the city by the federal government. The university’s national outlook means it will also makes its services accessible to other states of the federation. It was established with the dual mode to providing the regular or professional academic programme and distance learning. The university at the moment has eight faculties which include: faculty of agriculture, Arts, Management Science, Social Science, Vetinary Medicine, Law, Engineering and Science.
1.8. A Brief Profile of FCT College of Education
The college was established in 1996 with temporary site at the defunct teachers college. The purpose for theestablishment was to provide qualitative teachers education geared towards meeting the present challenges facing the Nigerian educational system especially in the area of training teachers in the science and Nigerian languages to teach at the primary schools.
This chapter presents some conceptual frame work for the study which include: some definitions of the term sexual harassment, the growth and measurement, experience of female students in the tertiary institutions in Nigeria etcetera. It also provides the theoretical framework for the study.
2.1What is Sexual Harassment?
Gutek and Done (2001) say sexualharassment can be a legal and a psychological phenomenon.
Legal definition: legally, two types of sexualharassment were identified (a) quid pro quo (this for that) harassment that requires the employeeto submit to sexual demands as a condition for promotion to avoid trouble, or being dismissed orin the case of faculty-student relationship, sex for better grades and (b) hostile environmentharassment where sexuality or discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult are beingpracticed in the environment in which the employee works or students learn.
Psychological definition:Psychologists defined sexual harassment onthe reasonableness of the offender (Browne, 1997). From this point of view, sexual harassment isperceived as an act of unsuitable mind or lack of understanding as prevents one from having themental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship. Therefore, sexualharassment was seen as an act done as a result of mental imbalance.
According to Hornby (2005) sexual harassment as putting pressure on someone, or doingunpleasant things to him or her. New Zealand Hockey Federation-NZHF (2001)conceptualized harassment as any unwelcome comment, conduct or gesture directed towardsan individual or group of individuals, which is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, malicious,degrading or offensive, and is either repeated or of such significant nature that adverselyaffect someone’s performance, contribution or sport and education environment. Harassment as used in this current study refers to any unwanted or unwelcome behaviour directed to afemale student which is insulting, intimidating, malicious, degrading or offensive and is
either repeated or of such significant nature that adversely impairs the student
capacity to learn at school.New Zealand Hockey Federation (2001) further observed that harassment can takemany forms namely; physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional and most often involves acombination of these elements. When harassment relates to sex or sexuality, is referred to assexual harassment (Wikipedia Foundation, 2010).
Robinson (2005)opines sexual harassment as any physical, visual, or sexual
act experienced by a person from another person at the time or later, which asserts a person’ssexual identity as a person and makes him or her feel embarrassed, frightened, hurt,uncomfortable, degraded, humiliated, compromised and as well diminishes a person’s powerand confidence. American Association of University Women–AAUW (2006) submits thatsexual harassment in education is an unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that interfereswith a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities.Wikipedia Foundation (2010) described sexual harassment as persistent and unwantedsexual advances, typically in the workplace, where the consequences of refusing arepotentially very disadvantageous to the victim.
To Larkin (1994), sexual harassment can be in three categories: verbal harassment,
physical harassment and other types of harassments. Also, Fitzgerald, Gelfand and Drasgow’s(1995) categorization of sexual harassment is composed of three related but conceptuallydistinct dimensions, which are gender harassments, unwanted sexual attention; and sexualcoercion. To Timmerman and Bajema (1997) sexual harassment can be classified into verbalharassment, non-verbal harassment, and physical harassment. According to Witkowska (2005), it can be verbal behaviour, non-verbal displays and sexual assault behaviours. This study has adopted Gelfand, Fitzgerald and Drasgow (1995) position where they catigories sexual harassment into gender harassment, unwanted sexualattention and sexual coercion.Gender harassment involves unwelcome verbal or visual comments and remarks that
insult individuals because of their gender and can include such things as postingpornographic pictures in public places, telling jokes and making gender-related degradingremarks while unwanted sexual attention refers to uninvited behaviours that explicitlycommunicate sexual desires or intentions toward another person such as staring at someone’sbreasts or making comments that insinuate sexual activities (Ajuwon, Akin-Jimoh & Olley,2001; Jejeebhoy & Bott, 2003).Sexual coercion among youth encompasses a range of experiences, ranging from noncontactforms such as verbal sexual abuse and forced viewing of pornography, as well asunwanted contact in the form of touching, fondling, to attempted rape, forced penetrative sex(vaginal, oral, or anal), trafficking in person, and forced prostitution. It also includes sexobtained as a result of physical force, intimidation, pressure, blackmail, deception, forcedalcohol and drug use, and threats of abandonment or of withholding economic support.Transactional sex through money, gifts, or other economic incentives (especially in thecontext of extreme poverty) often has a coercive aspect as well. (Ajuwon, Akin-Jimoh &Olley, 2001; Jejeebhoy & Bott, 2003). Moreover,all of these misdemeanor are observed to be trending in university of Abuja and College of Education ,Zuba,thus, the study tends to research into it and find solution in order to curtail the embarrassing situation for the sake of better academic performance for the victims.
In addition, the concept correlate according to Collins (2002) , it is a phenomenon which entails placement ofsomething or somebody in a mutual, complementary, or reciprocal relationship. Houghton(2009) defined correlate as a process of putting something or somebody into casual,complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation. In this study, it refers toprocess of putting the female student into casual, complementary, parallel orreciprocal experiences of sexual harassment. This therefore can be found in the target institutions as a result of some of the incidences that are refered below in this work.
According to Mama (1996) male lecturers exploit vulnerability of female students (cost-benefit analysis)who performed poorly in their examinations and tests, and are unable to cope with thedemands of courses registered for as factors that put them in vulnerable positions;predisposing them to the risk of sexual harassment.
To Oppong (1995) failures in the Nigerian educational system promote sexual harassment in our institutions.Elendu (2010) revealed in his study that female students’ dressing and attitudesincrease their vulnerability to sexual harassment. He also stated that lack of respectfor thefemale gender was reported as a fundamental reason for sexual harassment.In line with Elendu’s position,the provoking immoral dressing of the so called campus big girls has been observed to be one of the factors exposing them to sexual assult and this is going to be one of the major focus of this study.
2.2 Sexual Harassment: Growth and Measurement
Sexual harassment as it is perceived today came into existence in 1964 when the UnitedStates Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and created the Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission. Constance Jones, the author of the book Sexual Harassment traced thehistory of sexual harassment back to the 1830s when many women worked in New Englandtextile mills. Jones indicated that in 1835, printers in Boston conducted a campaign ofintimidation to force women out of their jobs in their industries. By then there was no term todescribe their action. In the 1960s, feminists coined the term “sexual harassment”.
Before the emergence of the concept, people had no way to express their encounter sincethere was no term by which to name it. Since this time, sexual harassment has drawn a greatdeal of interest from academic and legal scholars. Both parties focused primarily on thetraditions, methodologies, and assumptions, but drew different conclusions. Feminist scholars,for instance, contended that the legal system, being male-dominated, has no understanding orregard for the perspectives of women who have been sexually harassed. Initially, sexualharassment was perceived by the public as a normal biological attraction of males to females or
an instigation of males’ sexual pursuit of women in the workplace or institution. CatherineMacKinnon, as cited in Wyatt (2007) a professor at the University of Michigan Law School andSusan Brownmiller, an activist, initiated the study of sexual harassment and redefined theconcept as an issue of power instead of sex (Nancy Wyatt, 2007). These noble womenacknowledged that sexual behaviors in the workplace or in the academic institutions were notnormal, but were a problem of discrimination against women.It is a cliché that any construct studied by the methods of empirical science like the current one must bereliably and validly measured; sexual harassment is no exception. However, despite growinginterest in this topic, a number of basic questions remain (Fitzgerald, Gelfand, & Drasgow,1995). Of these, perhaps the most perplexing has to do with the level of specificity at whichsuch experiences should be measured. Early studies (Fitzgerald et al., 1988; Martindale,1990; U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, 1981) were primarily designed to collectfrequency data and typically examined harassment at item level; that is, they calculated thenumber of individuals who experienced one or more of a number of specific acts. The generalprocedure was to present individuals with lists of behaviours and count as harassed allrespondents who reported experiencing any of these during the time frame of the study.
Although, empirical investigations into the phenomenon of sexual harassment have
increased exponentially over the past decades, many basic questions about the measurement ofthis construct remain unanswered. Most research has utilized an aggregate-level approach,which assesses the frequency of all offensive sex-related behaviours experienced by anindividual within a given time . However, this approach has several limitations,including obscuring the etiology and impact of separate harassment incidents on a particularindividual (Suzanne, Mindy, NiCole, Fritz, & Louise, 2001). Consequently, Suzanne, Mindy,NiCole, Fritz, & Louise, (2001) adopted a situation-specific approach to the measurement ofsexual harassment experiences, the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire-Specific Experienceversion (SEQ-SE) was employed and evaluated. Results of confirmatory factor analysissuggested that the measure has adequate construct validity. In addition, the substantiveinformation yielded by this measure indicated that it is an important tool in the investigationof the prevalence and correlates of sexual harassment experiences.
Studies (Fitzgerald 1995) have begun to conceptualize harassment as a higher
order construct that is more appropriately assessed by a scale score than by individual items.Such an approach has the advantage of being amenable to traditional reliability and validityinvestigations as well as to examination by item response theory-IRT methodologies(Donovan & Drasgow, 1999). Research at the aggregate level assesses the frequency of alloffensive sex-related behaviours experienced by an individual within a given period.This methodology, thus, has revealed substantial data on sexual harassment measurement.
Despite these insights, aggregate methodology suffers from its own limitations.
Specifically, aggregate measurement ignores the fact that behaviours can combine to produceboth more and less than the sum of their parts. This is because the meaning of complexexperiences is not well captured by simply summing their components; less because suchaggregations obscure the experience of multiple incidents, possibly perpetrated by differentpeople across time, departments, and so forth. When separate experiences are aggregated,their etiology cannot be determined. Thus, it is impossible to explore potential associationsbetween antecedents (e.g., organizational climate) and specific types of experiences.
Moreover, the impact of a given experience is difficult to evaluate when data are “collapsed”over multiple incidents and perpetrators. Another problem of aggregation is that it equatesincidents of varying types and can thus underestimate the importance of situations that,though rare, are particularly severe. For instance, a woman who reports hearing offensivejokes at work “many times” over the past 2 years receives 5 points (on a 5-point scale)toward her score on the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire-SEQ (Fitzgerald et al., 1988,1995), a widely used aggregate measure of harassment. In contrast, a woman whosesupervisor tried to rape her in a single violent incident theoretically receives only 2 points.Because items on the SEQ are unit-weighted, the measure’s major source of variance is the
frequency ratings assigned by the participants; thus, repeated exposure to “minor” eventscarries much more weight than a single violent incident.
In practice, this problem arises infrequently, as virtually all respondents who report
sexual coercion or sexual assault describe it as embedded in a network of other offensivebehaviours; still, the situation is conceptually unsatisfying as well as occasionally empiricallyproblematic. A final limitation of aggregate-level measurement is that it complicatesexamination of targets’ coping strategies, including whether they report their experiences.Also, research has demonstrated that fewer than 15 per cent of harassment targets formallycomplain about their experiences (Dansky & Kilpatrick, 1997) and the question of why this isso, and under what circumstances, is not completely understood. These predictors areobscured, however, when an aggregate measure is employed and multiple incidents arecollapsed.
Suzanne et al. (2001) explored an alternative approach to the measurement of sexualharassment experiences using the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire—Specific Experience(SEQ-SE), which assesses such situations at the level of a by unitary experience (i.e., itinquires about the behaviours that comprise a single harassment incident). This approach,which was labelled situation-specific measurement, is not new to sexual harassment research;situation-specific data have been collected for as long as researchers have been exploring thistopic.
The Sexual Experiences Questionnaire-Department of Defense version (SEQ-DoD)(Fitzgerald et al., 1999) is a behaviourally based measure of offensive sex-related experiencesderived from Fitzgerald et al.’s (1988) measure; it was revised and expanded for use inmilitary settings. All questions share a common stem: “In the past 12 months, have you beenin situations involving military personnel and/or civilian employers and contractors employedin your workplace where one or more of these individuals.” The body of each item describesbehaviours that the respondent may have experienced, such as “Repeatedly told sexual stories
or jokes that were offensive to you?” and “Continued to ask you out after you had repeatedlysaid you weren’t interested?” Responses are made on a Likert-type scale, ranging from 1(never) to 5 (very often).
Factor analyses of the original SEQ (Fitzgerald et al., 1988, 1995) have consistentlyyielded a three-factor solution (gender harassment, unwanted sexual attention, and sexualcoercion); the first two factors are conceptually similar to the legal concept of hostile workenvironment, whereas the last more closely corresponds to the concept of quid pro quoharassment. New items were incorporated in the SEQ-DoD that formed an additional fourthdimension, sexist hostility (Fitzgerald et al., 1999); these items assess behaviour that,although not explicitly sexual in content (e.g., comments that women are not suited to be
leaders or do not belong in the military), convey sex-based antipathy and discriminatoryattitudes. As with previous forms of the measure, the words “sexual harassment” do notappear until the final item, at which point respondents are asked if they have been sexuallyharassed during the time frame of the study; this item is not included in SEQ scores.
Fitzgerald et al. (1999) report internal consistency reliabilities of .83, .91, .85, and .95 for thesexist hostility, sexual hostility, unwanted sexual attention, and sexual coercion scales,respectively.Sexual Experiences Questionnaire-Significant Experience (SEQ-SE) was baseddirectly on the SEQ-DoD; this measure asks respondents who marked any items on the SEQDoDto provide information about the one such experience that had the greatest impact onthem. Respondents are then directed to review the items they have marked (on the SEQ-DoD)and indicate all behaviours involved in this single, significant incident. Operationally, theSEQ-SE is a re-administration of SEQ-DoD with a different instructional set. In contrast to
the parent measure, responses to the SEQ-SE are dichotomous (i.e., “yes/no”). As a check onreliability, data from the SEQ-DoD and the SEQ-SE were first examined for responseconsistency. Because the SEQ-SE assesses the one situation that had the greatest effect on therespondent in the past 12 months (whereas the SEQ-DoD asks about all experiences duringthe same time frame) the items checked on the former should logically be a subset of thelatter. Therefore, women who marked an item on the SEQ-SE not marked in their overallSEQ-DoD were excluded from subsequent analysis; less than 2 per cent of respondents(1.6%) failed to satisfy this consistency requirement.
Wadsworth et al. (1993), maintain that the two popular tools for data collection in
sexual behaviour studies have remained the self-administered questionnaire and interview. They further explain that the greatest advantage of the self-administered questionnaire is itsefficacy in eliciting information on socially-censored behaviours. The efficacy, means that, it is a product of the anonymity, which the questionnaire guarantees the respondent tosuch issues. According to Helitzer-Allen, Makhambera and Wangel (1994), there are twotypes of interview suitable for obtaining sensitive information like information on sexualharassment, namely in-depth interview and focus group discussion (FGD). They furtherstressed that in-depth interview is a one-on-one type of interview conducted on a few subjects
typical of the study population. Such interviews, according to them, are good for derivinginformation on all the interviewees who know or have experience about the sexual behavior in question. This type of interview helps the interviewer to find out whichsocial norms might limit the content of the FGD; hence, it will better precede the FGD.
The FGD, according to World Health Organisation WHO (1995), is an organised
discussion among 6 to 12 individuals on a single topic for a limited amount of time. WHOfurther asserted that one person, called the facilitator, guides the conversation by asking aseries of very general, open-ended questions about the chosen topic. The aim is to encourageordinary dialogue among members of the group, including differences of opinion. Thediscussion, according to WHO (1995), is recorded in detail by a documenter and is analyzedafterwards for information about the topic. In the current study, the phenomenon of sexual harassment against female students by their male lecturers shall be measured by adapting and integrating Fitzgerald et al.’s (1995) SexualExperiences Questionnaire-SEQ . SEQ adopts an approach where item responses are made on a Likert-type scale,ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (very often).
2.3 Sexual Assault in Tertiary Institutions and the Experience of Female Students in Nigeria.
The impact and scope of sexual harassment in colleges and universities surfaced in theearly 1980s leading to the creation of policies, procedures, extensive training programs andmaterials designed to identify and prevent sexual harassment. In spite of the efforts to minimizeor eradicate sexual harassment on college campuses the frequency of complaints are increasing(Riggs et al., 1993). Sexual harassment is a real life experience for women across countries,culture, and ethnicity. According to the AAUW (2006) report about two-third of college students
(62%) have been sexually harassed and about one-third of first-year students (41%) have beensexually harassed by peers. Katz (2005) indicated that a survey conducted by the AmericanPsychological Association (APA) on female graduate students revealed that over 12.7% haveexperienced sexual harassment, 21% have avoided classes for fear of being sexually harassed,11% tried to report an incident of sexual harassment and 3% have dropped a course because ofsexual harassment. A 1997 survey of nearly 200 female college and university students inMumbai, India found that 39% of the respondent complained of sexual harassment (Puja, 2003).
At Jimma University in Ethiopia sexual violence, harassment, and lack of security were indicatedas the most common problems facing female students (Panos, 2003).AAUW (2006) identified sexual harassment as number one pervasive problem to equityin educations at all levels. AAUW argued that sexual harassment posed a damaging effect on theeducational experience of many college students and disrupts students’ ability to learn andsucceed. According to AAUW sexual harassment interferes with the students’ability to perform in an educational setting. Students have become aware of the existence ofpolicies on harassment (AAWU, 1999); however, increased awareness does not mean lessincidents of sexual harassment or increased report of incidents. The AAUW’s research report,”Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus” indicated that more than one-third ofcollege students tell no one after being harassed; almost half (49%) confide in a friend; and onlyseven percent (7%) of students report the incident to a college employee.
In addition, sexual assault is any sexual act performed by one person on another without the persons consent and it includes genital, oral or anal penetration by a part of the accused body or by an object. It may result from force, the threat of force either on the victim or another person, or the victim‟s inability to give ap-propriate consent. Sexual assault have been des-cribed or categorised based on personal relation-ship as marital, acquaintance, incest and date rape, or legally in terms of age as statutory rape and child sexual abuse. It is a serious violent crime that has no place in any ideal society and no one can justify its prevalence in any community that thrive on mu-tual trust particularly our tertiaryuniversities and other tertiary institution are by con-ception knowledge dissemination centres where knowledge is both brought in and taken out by students as well as teachers and it further inculcate moral values that will influence positive behaviour change to the students in the course of the training. These are the attributes that qualifies student for award of certificates which at graduation ceremonies summarised as found worthy both in “character and learning”. Equally, not only positive knowledge but negative knowledge and experiences are consciously or subconsciously distributed in both directions which manifest with immoral behaviours as sexual assault. Sexual assault is becoming a com mon occurrence among students; the vulnerable group were the weak female students which boththe lecturers and fellow male students take undue advantage to abuse. This was facilitated by the degree of freedom of social interaction among young men and women encouraged by the learning environment and lack of parental supervision because they are away from home.Female students in Nigeria colleges and universities have unique experiences of this menace from male faculty, staff, and peers. Though sexual harassment is a global conceptthat affects virtually women of all races, ages, and colors Nigerian women experience moreelusive types of harassment. In other countries or cultures, sexual harassment is a behavior that isgenerally unacceptable in any public setting. Nigerian society does not accept the concept of
harassment and so does not perceive harassment as evil or a violation of women’s right. In fact, in some states in Nigeria for instance, this ugly practice was indirectly legitimized by teaching and nonteachingstaff. According to Nwaogwugwu (2007) “a practice in Anambra State colleges anduniversities popularly called “sorting” where students (males and females) pay their way throughexaminations either with cash, gifts, or sexual gratifications. In this practice, male students wereasked to pay money but sexual gratification was the top expectation for women students. Thesefaculty and staff proudly call this practice “inconveniency allowance”. As a result, studentsfondly divide faculty into “sortable” (those who make demands for gratification) and”unsortable” (those who do not). Consequently, women students in Nigeria colleges anduniversities are raising concerns over the alarming incidents of sexual harassment on campus by male faculty, staff, and students”. Houreld (2006) found that 80% of women in Nigerian highereducation institutions reported sexual harassment as their greatest challenge in the successfulcompletion of their academic goals. Adedokun (2004) and Ejiogu and Onyene (2006) found thatabout 86% of male faculty and staff in the sampled universities in Nigeria have sexually harassedfemale students at one point in their teaching career. In line with all of these findings,this