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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Sexual Harassment

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Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual attention which can involve intimidation, threats, coercion or promises.

Sexual harassment is common on college campuses. It has been reported that 30% of undergraduate students and 40% of graduate students have been sexually assaulted (Report Card on Gender Equity, National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education). Harassment can occur anywhere (residence halls, classrooms, offices, workplaces, etc), and between any variety of individuals of any gender or sexual orientation.

 Examples of sexual harassment include unwanted: 

  • Touching, grabbing, pinching, patting, bumping, hugging, or any physical contact

  • Staring 

  • Sexual or profane gestures 

  • Display of sexually orientated material 

  • Gifts 

  • Sexual compliments, comments, or jokes

  • Sexual emails, text messages, or letters 

  • Profanity 

  • Hooting, sucking, lip-smacking, or animal noises 

  • Sexual advances 

  • Pressure for dates 

  • Spreading sexual rumors 

  • Flashing, mooning, or exposure to a body part

  • Spying on someone while they are showering or dressing

Some people may use the excuse that harassing behavior is just flirting. However, harassment is not an effective way to let another person know you find her or him attractive. It does not stimulate the other person's interest in getting to know you better.

If a person is being sexually harassed, she or he can experience:

  • Decreased work or school performance

  • Missing class or work to avoid harassment or because of illness from the stress

  • Having to drop courses or change majors

  • Loss of trust in environments similar to where the harassment occured

  • Lost of trust in people

  • Being ostracized from professional or academic circles

  • Having to relocate to another university, job, or city