Unfortunately, we have all heard many cases regarding sexual harassment at schools. A quick study of the news can reveal hundreds of cases of teacher sexual misconduct.
Most of these cases are happening with middle and high school students, but many people do not know about the sexual harassment cases at universities.
College students are in a somewhat precarious position. Legally, they are adults free to make their own decisions. However, they are still immature.
Students look at these professors like elders and mentors. People tasked with helping to shape and mold them into productive members of society. So, when sexual harassment occurs the trust is broken, and the relationship becomes irrevocably damaged.
Research has been done regarding sexual harassment with undergrad students. Most of the research focuses on parties and the fraternity or hookup culture rampant at schools.
A new study looked at graduate students and the instances of sexual harassment between faculty members and students, especially teaching assistants.
The rigorous nature of graduate studies requires students to be diligent and develop a close working relationship with faculty members and peers. The relationship between a student and faculty members also becomes closer when a student takes on a position as a research assistant or teacher’s assistant.
What Researchers Uncovered
University of California and Barry University researchers joined together to perform the study, which is one of the only studies that talks about graduate student-level sexual harassment.
The study revealed that one in 10 graduate female students have been harassed by a faculty member. Researchers studied over 300 cases gathered from the headlines, lawsuits, and the Department of Education.
The study found that most faculty abuses involve overt acts of sexual harassment. In many cases, the faculty member touched and groped the student. Researchers found this behavior to be far more aggressive than other instances of workplace harassment.
They also uncovered that at least 50 percent of abusers were repeat-offenders. Of the 300 cases studied, only 26 cases resulted in a faculty member’s termination.
They also found that one-fifth of transgender students experience harassment and female graduate students are three times more likely than undergraduate students to be harassed.
This startling data puts many things into perspective. First, it uncovers an issue on university campuses that is not a topic of discussion. Faculty members are crossing the line and harassing students at an astronomical rate. Secondly, many schools are not adequately dealing with sexual assault victims or assailants.
Documented evidence shows that half of the assailants are repeat offenders, but only 8 percent lose their jobs. Universities are not doing enough to protect students or reprimand faculty and these problems are swept under the rug.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Represent Teaching Assistants Who Have Faced Harassment
At Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. we are committed to helping graduate students fight on-campus sexual harassment by offering the assistance of a South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer. Please call us today at 866-569-8744 or fill out our online form.