Perceptions of peer social–sexual interactions were examined in a group of high school students (N=150). Participants were presented with six brief vignettes that described three types of sexual harassment between adolescent peers: physical, verbal/visual, and derogatory. Two vignettes were written for each type of behavior to reflect either a sexually explicit or implicit behavior. Participants responded to Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale and the Attitudes toward Women Scale for Adolescents (AWSA), and then rated the sexually harassing nature of the behaviors. Sexual harassment ratings varied as a function of the type of behavior and the sexual explicitness with which it was displayed. Although consensus was reached regarding the sexually harassing nature of both the sexually implicit and explicit physical forms of behaviors, only when the verbal/visual behavior was explicitly displayed was it perceived as sexually harassing. Interactions among self-esteem, gender attitudes, and type of behavior were also noted. Irrespective of the explicitness with which it was displayed, rater characteristics were influential for both the verbal/visual and derogatory forms of harassment.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 14, 2004
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