Sexual Harassment at Institutions of Higher Education: Prevalence, Risk, and Extent




Wood, Leila
Hoefer, Sharon
Kammer-Kerwick, Matt
Parra-Cardona, José Rubén
Busch-Armendariz, Noël

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Journal of Interpersonal Violence


Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem on college campuses. Across eight academic campuses, 16,754 students participated in an online study that included questions about sexual harassment victimization by a faculty/ staff member or by a peer since enrollment at their Institution of Higher Education (IHE). Utilizing an intersectional theory and hurdle models, this study explored the effects of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, age at enrollment, student status, and time spent at institution on students’ risk for peer- and faculty/staff-perpetrated sexual harassment victimization, as well as the extent of victimization for students who experience harassment. Across institutions, 19% of students reported experiencing faculty/staff perpetrated sexual harassment and 30% reported experiencing peer perpetrated sexual harassment. Hypotheses related to intersectional impacts were partially supported, with most significant findings in main effects. Time at institution was found to increase both risk and extent of victimization of both types of harassment. Traditional undergraduate students, non-Latinx White students, female students, and gender and sexual minority students were found to be at increased risk for harassment. Being female increases the odds of experiencing both faculty/staff and peer sexual harassment by 86% and 147%, respectively. Latinx students and students with an ethnicity other than White reported less victimization, but those who reported sexual harassment faced greater extent of harassing behaviors. A discussion of these findings for institutional program planning and policy is explored.


LCSH Subject Headings


Wood, L., Hoefer, S., Kammer-Kerwick, M., Parra-Cardona, J. R., & Busch-Armendariz, N. (Online First, 2018). Sexual harassment at institutions of higher education: Prevalence, risk, and extent. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.