Experiences of gender harassment, especially for those who encountered it repeatedly, were associated with clinically relevant levels of trauma-related symptoms in college.(Unsplash)
Experiences of gender harassment, especially for those who encountered it repeatedly, were associated with clinically relevant levels of trauma-related symptoms in college.(Unsplash)

Gender harassment and institutional betrayal in high school takes toll on mental health, studies show

High school students who endure gender harassment in schools that don’t respond well, enter college and adulthood with potential mental health challenges, according to a University of Oregon study.
By Asian News International | Posted by Jahnavi Gupta | Oregon [USA]
UPDATED ON SEP 20, 2020 05:27 PM IST

High school students who endure gender harassment in schools that don’t respond well, enter college and adulthood with potential mental health challenges, according to a University of Oregon study.

The study, published last month in PLOS ONE, found that 97 per cent of women and 96 per cent of men from a pool of 535 undergraduate college students had endured at least one instance of gender harassment during high school.

Experiences of gender harassment, especially for those who encountered it repeatedly, were associated with clinically relevant levels of trauma-related symptoms in college.

“We found that the more gender harassment and institutional betrayal teens encounter in high school, the more mental, physical, and emotional challenges they experience in college,” said lead author Monika N. Lind, a UO psychology doctoral student. “Our findings suggest that gender harassment and institutional betrayal may hurt young people, and educators and researchers should pay more attention to these issues.”

The study, the three-member UO team noted, served to launch academic research into the responses of high schools to gender harassment, beyond media reports of institutional betrayal by schools since the #MeToo movement began.

Gender harassment, a type of sexual harassment, is characterized by sexist remarks, sexually crude or offensive behaviour, and the enforcement of traditional gender roles.

Institutional betrayal, a label coined previously by the study’s co-author UO psychologist Jennifer Freyd, is the failure of an institution, such as a school, to protect people who depend on it. A high school mishandling a case of gender harassment reported by a student is an example of institutional betrayal.

Participants -- 363 females, 168 males, three non-binary and one who did not report gender -- initially were not aware of the study’s focus.

They completed a 20-item gender harassment questionnaire about their high school experiences and a 12-item questionnaire about their schools’ actions or inactions. Trauma symptoms were assessed with a 40-item checklist that explores common posttraumatic symptoms such as headaches, memory problems, anxiety attacks, nightmares, sexual problems and insomnia.

An analysis that considered gender, race, age, gender harassment, institutional betrayal, and the interaction of gender harassment and institutional betrayal significantly predicted trauma-related symptoms, but, Lind said, a subtle surprise emerged.

“We expected to find an interaction effect showing that the relationship between gender harassment and trauma-related symptoms depends on institutional betrayal, such that people who experience high gender harassment have different levels of symptoms depending on how much institutional betrayal they experience,” she said. “Instead we found that gender harassment and institutional betrayal are independently related to trauma-related symptoms.”

That issue, Lind said, needs to be further explored. It’s possible, she said, that the pool of students wasn’t large enough or that the measures used were not robust enough. Another factor may be that the study focused more on institutional betrayal than the impacts of institutional courage.

“This is like measuring mood and only letting respondents report negative to neutral mood -- you’re missing a bunch of variability that might be captured if you extended the scale to go from negative to positive,” she said. “Expanding the scale to capture institutional courage might increase the likelihood of identifying a meaningful interaction.”

How schools might respond to the issues identified in the study should begin with listening to students, Lind said. Asking about problems and listening to responses is an example of institutional courage. Interventions that do not do so often fail.

“Schools should engage in self-study, including interviews, focus groups, and anonymous surveys of students, and they should take students’ reports and suggestions seriously,” Lind said. “When you’re trying to intervene in adolescence, you’ll do better if you demonstrate respect for teens’ autonomy and social status.”

Researchers have not focused on such issues in high schools, where students are emerging into early adulthood from the physical, neurological and psychological changes occurring in adolescence, said Freyd, a pioneer in academic research on issues of sexual harassment, institutional betrayal, and institutional courage.

“Until now, all of the education-focused institutional betrayal research has considered the experiences of undergraduate and graduate-level college students, as well as those of faculty members,” she said. “There also has been work on these issues in the military and workplaces, but we don’t know a lot about gender harassment or institutional betrayal in adolescence.”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
app
Close
Kimchi, kombucha demand on rise amid buyer's lockdown craze for fermented food(Twitter/SeanWal49402031/thefoodbabe)
Kimchi, kombucha demand on rise amid buyer's lockdown craze for fermented food(Twitter/SeanWal49402031/thefoodbabe)

Kimchi, kombucha demand on rise amid buyer's lockdown craze for fermented food

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:54 PM IST
A sudden spike in demand for fermented health products like kombucha and kimchi has appeared as the behavioural side effects of the pandemic and the lockdowns it spawned
Close
Milind Soman does pull-ups(Instagram/milindrunning)
Milind Soman does pull-ups(Instagram/milindrunning)

Milind Soman's Friday mantra may inspire you to start your fitness journey soon

By Nishtha Grover
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:28 PM IST
  • Milind Soman recently shared a fitness video in which the actor can be seen doing pull-ups. Along with the clip, he penned an inspiring note asking his followers to make every choice count.
Close
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that fruit flies with genetic modifications to enhance glucose uptake have significantly longer lifespans.(ANI)
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that fruit flies with genetic modifications to enhance glucose uptake have significantly longer lifespans.(ANI)

Research:s Good diet, glucose uptake in brain lead to longer life in fruit flies

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:39 PM IST
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that fruit flies with genetic modifications to enhance glucose uptake have significantly longer lifespans.
Close
Representational image(Unsplash)
Representational image(Unsplash)

Covid isolation worsens student diets, inactivity, alcohol intake. Here's why

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:04 PM IST
A new study has found that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to significant worsening of already poor dietary habits, low activity levels, sedentary behaviour, and high alcohol consumption among university students.
Close
he avian section at Lucknow Zoo has been closed for public in wake of bird flu. (HT Photo)
he avian section at Lucknow Zoo has been closed for public in wake of bird flu. (HT Photo)

Bird flu scare: Lucknowites look for veg options!

By Deep Saxena
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:52 AM IST
Despite message issued by doctors, veterinary scientists and concerned department about consumption of ‘fully-cooked’ chicken-egg is safe, people are still going for vegetarian options which are available in winters in abundance
Close
Rapid blood test can now identify patients at highest risk of severe Covid-19(Twitter/WebMD)
Rapid blood test can now identify patients at highest risk of severe Covid-19(Twitter/WebMD)

Rapid blood test can now identify patients at highest risk of severe Covid-19

PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 08:24 AM IST
Since some coronavirus patients get better without intensive treatment, scientists have now developed a rapid blood test that can identify patients at highest risk of severe Covid-19 complications or death
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Polycystic Ovarian Disease: Here are some natural ways to fight PCOS, PCOD

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:41 PM IST
Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), also known as PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that is characterized by the overproduction of a woman's hormone levels, irregular menstrual periods, and cysts in the ovaries.
Close
Representational image(Unsplash)
Representational image(Unsplash)

Novel vaccine that may help prevent future coronavirus pandemics developed

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 04:43 PM IST
The novel 'mosaic nanoparticle' vaccine, described in the journal Science, is shaped like a cage made up of 60 identical proteins, each of which has a small protein tag that functions like a piece of Velcro.
Close
Parineeti Chopra starts her day with Yoga(Instagram/parineetichopra)
Parineeti Chopra starts her day with Yoga(Instagram/parineetichopra)

Parineeti Chopra loves her Yoga mornings, says she is addicted to stretching

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 04:09 PM IST
The Girl On The Train star Parineeti Chopra is a fan of doing Yoga in the morning. The actor says that she is "addicted to stretching, breathing deeply and thinking happy thoughts."
Close
New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that allergens in the environment often are to blame for episodes of acute itch in eczema patients.(Yahoo)
New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that allergens in the environment often are to blame for episodes of acute itch in eczema patients.(Yahoo)

Acute itching in eczema patients linked to environmental allergens

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 02:52 PM IST
New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that allergens in the environment often are to blame for episodes of acute itch in eczema patients.
Close
Use of the diabetes drug metformin, before a diagnosis of Covid-19 is associated with a threefold decrease in mortality in Covid-19 patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to a racially diverse study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.(Yahoo)
Use of the diabetes drug metformin, before a diagnosis of Covid-19 is associated with a threefold decrease in mortality in Covid-19 patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to a racially diverse study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.(Yahoo)

Metformin use reduces risk of death for patients with Covid-19, diabetes

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 01:43 PM IST
Use of the diabetes drug metformin, before a diagnosis of Covid-19 is associated with a threefold decrease in mortality in Covid-19 patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to a racially diverse study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Close
A study quantifies the disparate impacts of Covid-19 on life expectancy in the United States on the basis of racial and ethnic disparities.(Unsplash)
A study quantifies the disparate impacts of Covid-19 on life expectancy in the United States on the basis of racial and ethnic disparities.(Unsplash)

Racial, ethnic disparities in Covid-19 impact on life expectancy

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 01:12 PM IST
A study quantifies the disparate impacts of Covid-19 on life expectancy in the United States on the basis of racial and ethnic disparities.
Close
Disha Patani's new exercise video will make you jaws hit the floor(Instagram/dishapatani)
Disha Patani's new exercise video will make you jaws hit the floor(Instagram/dishapatani)

Watch: Disha Patani's new exercise video will make your jaws hit the floor

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:09 AM IST
  • Disha Patani recently shared a clip that shows the actor landing an impressive flying kick on a boxing bag. This is all the motivation that we will need to start our weekend on a fitter note.
Close
A new paper in Q Open finds that the availability of fast-food restaurants on the route between children's houses and their schools does not affect children's weight.(ANI)
A new paper in Q Open finds that the availability of fast-food restaurants on the route between children's houses and their schools does not affect children's weight.(ANI)

Fast food restaurant proximity likely doesn't affect children's weight: Study

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 05:48 PM IST
A new paper in Q Open finds that the availability of fast-food restaurants on the route between children's houses and their schools does not affect children's weight.
Close
As soon as bird flu cases were reported in the city, ducks at Sanjay Lake Park and other parks were inspected/culled by health workers. (Photo: ANI)
As soon as bird flu cases were reported in the city, ducks at Sanjay Lake Park and other parks were inspected/culled by health workers. (Photo: ANI)

Bird flu scare and non veg cravings? Wary Delhiites look for safe food options

By Mallika Bhagat
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 05:36 PM IST
Amid Covid-19 and now Bird Flu scare, Delhiites are turning to vegetarian options to fulfil their protein requirements while ensuring they stay safe.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP