Ninety Percent of Adolescent Girls Experience Sexual Harassment

A study released this month reports that 90 percent of girls between the ages of 12 and 18 reported experiencing sexual harassment. The study found that girls who had a better understanding of feminism from the media, their parents, or teachers were more likely to recognize sexual harassment.

Campbell Leaper, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and one of the authors of the study, said in a press release, “Sexism remains pervasive in the lives of adolescent girls. Most girls have experienced all three types of sexism–sexual harassment, sexist comments about their academic abilities, and sexist comments about their athletic abilities.”

Science Daily reports that the study found Latina and Asian American girls reported less sexual harassment than the other girls who participated in the study. Older adolescent girls and girls from lower socioeconomic backgrounds reported more sexism. The most commonly reported forms of sexual harassment were unwanted romantic attention, demeaning gender-related comments, teasing based on their appearance, and unwanted physical contact.


Perceived Experiences with Sexism among Adolescent Girls, Child Development May/June 2008 Issue; Science Daily 05/16/08; CBS News 05/15/08; UC Santa Cruz Press Release 05/15/08

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