This week, 48 Hours, profiled Eve Bruneau, a high school sophomore who said she had been repeatedly harassed by her fellow students in elementary and junior high school. Eve isn't the only one to have this experience. By the start of their sophomore year of high school, about one in five members of the Class of 2000 said they had personally experienced sexual harassment. Girls were four times more likely than boys to report being harassed.
In a CBS NEWS Class of 2000 survey conducted last fall, high school sophomores were also asked about what is and is NOT sexual harassment. There was a clear consensus that things such as unwanted sexual advance or touching constitute harassment. However, dirty jokes were NOT viewed as harassment by Class members.
A Problem At School Today
A majority of teenagers IN GENERAL report seeing harassment currently happening in their school (based on results from another survey conducted with The New York Times in April). More than half of both teenage boys AND girls say sexual harassment occurs at least some of the time in their school. Only 14% say it's something that never happens there.
How To Handle Harassment
Teenagers in general, as opposed to members of the class of 2000 exclusively) who have been harassed (18% total) are twice as likely to take action - either by confronting the offender or reporting him or her to school authorities - as they are to do nothing about it. Girls - who have more personal experience with sexual harassment than boys - are also much more likely to take a head-on approach rather than do nothing.
|Report To Authorities||21%|
|Confront & Report||4%|
These results are based on two polls. The Class of 2000 poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 1,047 tenth-graders by telephone September 2-10, 1997. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample. The teenager poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 1,048 teenagers by telephone April 2-7, 1998. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample.
The "Teenagers: Sexual Harassment" poll was conducted from April 2-7, 1998 by CBS News and The New York Times.
The "Class of 2000" poll was conducted by CBS News from September 2 to September 10, 1997.
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