Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Genie O. Lenihan


Several studies have demonstrated the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, indicating that approximately one in three women in the workplace report having been victims of sexual harassment, while an estimated one out of two female students experience some form of sexual harassment. Previous research has focused on prevalence and perceptions of sexual harassment with little emphasis on prevention. This study assessed the effectiveness of two different educational strategies which were designed to aid in the prevention of sexual harassment. It was hypothesized that focused training which clearly defines and provides examples of harassing behavior are the best educational model. Results indicate that participants in both educational groups were more equipped to identify sexual harassment than participants receiving no education Comparison of the educational groups to each other resulted in no significant differences. It was also found that women tend to perceive ambiguous situations as more harassing than men. Results of this study also indicate that gender of the harasser and gender of the victim do not affect severity ratings of sexually harassing behavior. Implications for education, policy, research, and prevention are discussed.