As the 2012 presidential race is rocked by allegations from several women who claim that GOP hopeful Herman Cain sexually harassed them, a new report from the American Association of University Women found that “nearly half” of middle and high school students have experienced sexual harassment.
The harassment can be anything from a nasty rumor whispered behind a student’s back to an inappropriate grope in the hallway. And it’s a serious problem for tweens and teens. Researchers found that “sexual harassment pervades the lives of students in grades 7-12.”
“Nearly half of those surveyed reported that they had been harassed in the 2010-11 school year,” the AAUW press release reported. “. . . The prevalence of sexual harassment in middle and high school comes as a surprise to many, in part because it is rarely reported. Only about 9 percent of harassed students told a teacher, guidance counselor, or other adult at school about being sexually harassed.”
“Not only were girls more likely than boys to say sexual harassment caused them to have trouble sleeping . . . not want to go to school, or change the way they went to or home from school, girls were more likely in every case to say they felt that way for ‘quite a while’ compared with boys,” the report said.