Perception: Defining Sexual Harassment in Colleges.
Sexual harassment is a subject that has been debated for years and the lack of a strong definition makes this subject even more complex and arguable. "With regard to educational institutions, sexual harassment has become an issue of increasing concern on campuses worldwide resulting in the growing awareness of the scope and complexity of the problem" (Mayekiso and Bhana). Sexual harassment in college life is a huge dilemma, as it appears that college kids who are experiencing life on their own for the first time aren't knowledgeable in what constitutes sexual harassment. "Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 defines sexual harassment vaguely as unwelcome and demeaning sexual related behavior that creates an intimidating, hostile, and offensive work environment" (Waldrop). That definition leaves a lot to be desired. It is hard to prove what sexual harassment is without a firm clear definition. In this paper I will look college men, college women, and feminists groups, in hopes to clarify the issues concerning proper definition of the term sexual harassment in college and what measures should be taken to educate students properly.
I will first take a look at college men and how they interact and perceive women on physical and biological levels. "College men are at their hormonal peak. They have just left their mothers and are questing for their male identity" (Paglia). Men's hormones tend to cloud judgment of seemingly innocent conversations, especially with women. Many men perceive friendly conversation from women, process it as a sexual advance, and often respond in a sexual manor. This is more often than not unwelcome from women. "Men seem to be less sensitive to ambient behaviors that women may find harassing, such as sexual comments or gestures," (Baugh and Page) because of the sexual manner applied by men to their everyday social activities.