SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENT OF PUBLIC COLLEGES OF EDUCATION
1.1 Background of the study
Sexual harassment in Nigeria’s universities appears to be under-researched and even less reported (Adamolekun, 1989). However, the Commission on the Review of Higher Education in Nigeria (CRHEN) (1991, as cited in Ladebo, 2001) suggests that the phenomenon is gradually assuming critical dimension in Nigeria’s higher institutions of learning.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature (Aluede, 2000; Cohen, n.d). It is a silent disease that is seriously eroding academic excellence in our tertiary institutions in Nigeria. It is often seen as a behaviour that is unwelcome (the recipient does not want it), unsolicited (the recipient did not ask for it), and repeated (the behaviour is not one isolated incident). A behaviour can be considered sexual harassment when: (a) submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly a term or condition for an individual’s employment or participating in educational programmes; or (b) submission to, or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or (c) when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or student’s academic performance, creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment(Anonymous, nd).
The definition identifies the various behaviours that may constitute sexual harassment in a work environment. The first two provisions deal with unequal power relations between the employer/supervisor and employee/subordinate. An employer or a supervisor demands sexual gratification from the employee or subordinate in return for job benefits. In the academic environment, a parallel situation could be argued to arise when faculty propose to female students for sexual favours, in return for favourable examination results. The third provision refers to the existence of a hostile work environment, where the offending behaviour interferes with the satisfactory work performance of an employee. Fitzgerald, Gelfand and Drasgow (1995) further extended this definition by adding three empirically derived situations: unwanted sexual attention such as touching, hugging, stroking and demanding a date; sexual coercion, which relates to sexual advances with the promise of job-related benefits; and gender harassment which refers to those verbal and non-verbal behaviours (such as jokes, taunts, gestures, and exhibition of pornographic materials).
Sexual harassment in the work place is a from of violence against woman, a violation of their human right and an offence that is incompatible with human dignity. Sexual harassment rate in the society has been as accelerated and an alarming increase in the most recent time and this has been serious concern to many people in different facets of life.
Sexual harassment involves unwanted behaviours of a sexual nature a perception by the victim that is creates a hostile intimidating and humiliating environment. It could involve physical content, expression of sexual coloured comment and jokes, and the exhibition of pornography or unnecessary and unwanted comments on person. Many countries recognize sexual harassment actually occurs and effect of sexual harassment. A very recent examples is the incident that happens in one of the tertiary institution in Edo State during the first week in the month of October, year 2004, some set of ,young boys were reported to have raped, it was confirmed that these same set of young boys were instrumental of the death of the death of one of the ladies while the others involved were hospitalized.
Tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been bedevilled with obscene dressing, secret cult activities and drug abuse to mention a few. Most of the female students almost go naked, display their navels and boobs and wearing what are just ample cleavages on display depicting size and shape of the private parts with minis that barely cover their bottom. These are weapons of mass distraction and sexual harassment. Some of the students are so morally bankrupt that they rely absolutely on their womanhood to ‘pass’ their examinations. They seduce fellow male students or examiners to assist them write their examinations or award them pass marks as the case may be.
The general increase in the social vices in Nigerian tertiary institutions might be responsible for the general decline in the quality of graduates being turned out by Nigeria’s tertiary institutions. An evaluation of the quality of graduates from Nigerian tertiary institutions based mainly on a series of questions put to major employers of Nigerian graduates as a way of assessing graduates’ level of preparation and performance on the job; the result showed that the quality of the graduates is deteriorating (The Scholar, 2001). There is also a general perception that sexual harassment is prevalent in most or all university campuses in Nigeria and that the phenomenon had been on the increase in the last 10 years (Ladebo, 2001).
Sexual harassment is an all too familiar part of the everyday experience in tertiary institutions and it is characterized as one of the most omnipresent and rampant form of gender-based violence which many ladies face daily (American Association of University Women, 2006). Sexual harassment is complex, not always unidirectional, played down by all concerned, unreported and considered a serious moral and social problem in tertiary institutions. It may take several forms: male lecturers to female students, male students to female students, male lecturers to female lecturers and nonacademic staff and so on. Female students are in most cases at great risk, while the male academic staff is likely to be the perpetuators of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.
Who are those involved in this act of sexual harassment in tertiary institution, could they be male alone or men academic staff? Who could be victim of this, act in tertiary institution young ladies alone or young boys, female and male staff? What could be the perceived consequence of sexual harassment on it victim? Could it produce feelings of revulsion, damage victim health result into emotional trauma and the like? All the above became a concern of the researcher thus, interest to work along the lines and find out possible solution to these barberries act.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Sexual harassment is a problem of it own and is one of the anti-socio behaviour which makes the victim lose their self esteem and self worth, sexual harassment such as rape. This could lead to untimely death for those involved or for the student who also lead to psychological disorder on the part of the victim and it would make the student that fall in psychological disorder which will affect the academic performance of such victim.
Sexual harassment can also bring about stigmatization, the student may become stigmatize either the student are aware of the fact that an individual has once been harassed either sexually or other way and look at individual student each time the person or victim seem in a way that can bring emotional disturbances to the victim if he or she is aware through way of the other that student or person around view him/her of sexual harassment which may hinder the academic performance of such victim to put much effort in his/her academic and could also lead to set back for such victim.
Thus, withdraw from other student that can influence them positively in his/her academic like in the cause of assignment, test, exam to avoid labeling during academic performance. Sexual harassment lead to post traumatic stress disorder and it make the victim to perform poorly in his/her academic as a result of what the victim experience when raped or other way, sexual harassment also been found to lead to death from exhaustion as well as suicide and a dead person has no cotter or effort to put into his/her academic.
1.3 Purpose of study
The purpose of this research work is to find how to alleviate the act of sexual harassment and academic performance of student so as to prevent the occurrence of its likely negative impact such as stigmatization, emotional disturbances, post traumatic stress disorder and untimely death on the victim. This could be achieved probably with the use of community awareness, criminal system, educating the judiciary, the police as expected; the purpose of this study is to get the perceived cause of sexual in Edo state public college of education.
1.4 Significance of the study
The significance of this study is to reduce, the occurrence of sexual harassment. It is also for the avoidance of the negative effect like post traumatic stress disorder, untimely death that it may have on the victim which may reduced internal (Inner) motivation of an individual to carry out activities that could be beneficial to both the individual and the immediately society.
It is also essential to have a better stay in future when it comes to the issue of sexual act so that it is not harshly acted if legislative measure that are achievable are implemented most especially in our tertiary institution since these student shall serve as parents, leaders, rulers, teacher and like in future, to make all our students be equipped with good societal behaviour through legislation enforcement in all standing tertiary institution.
1.5 Research Question
1. The reason why student fall into victim be sexual harassment and how is their academic performance?
2. If the student fell into a victim of sexual harassment can they cope in their academic?
3. Is their any different between the perception of the student and the indigence of Edo state in the cause of sexual harassment?
4. Does any doubt that lead to student sexual harassment from their parent can also lead to the student to sexuality harass?
1.6 Objectives of the study
1. To explain why student fall into victim be sexual harassment and how is their academic performance.
2. To assess how student that fall victim of sexual harassment cope with their academics.
3. To examine the different between the perception of the student and the indigence of Edo state in the cause of sexual harassment.
4. To investigate if student sexual harassment from their parent can also lead to the student to sexuality harass.
1.7 Justification of the study
There is numerous researcher on sexual harassment and especially on rape in Nigeria with no in-depth study on evaluating of sexual harassment in academic performance of student in Edo State.
However, this study will try to establish the possible cause of sexual possible solution as a means of remanding these problem these being done will guide the student and the institution, lecturer, parents or guidance, staff, non trenching staff and so on, in dealing or relating with student in general.
1.8 Limitation of the study
There is a limitation in getting the cause of the sexual harassment because, those sexual harassed were not old enough to say it out for the fear of the shame and some other reasons best known to them, these research work will only consider the perceived caused of sexual harassment the implication it has victim academic performance and the way out.
1.9 Definition of term
Sexual harassment: Is a verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, an unwanted unsolicited and repeated or verbal sexual advance.
Academic performance: It simply means how well or badly the input or reading and studying of a student rather than practical and technical skills.
Stigmatization: This means an act of labeling, labeling in this content means a name given to an individual as a result of an act or behaviour once done.
Post traumatic stress disorder: This is anxiety that reflects as persistence psychological problem due to exposure to stressful pain and traumatic in an earlier life.
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