Sexual harassment in Jewish and Arab public schools in Israel

Anat Zeira, Ron Avi Astor, Rami Benbenishty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Current empirical literature on sexual harassment in schools is mostly based on nonrepresentative samples of middle-class high-school Caucasian female students. Thus the scope of research regarding gender, age, and cultural differences is very limited. This article reports on findings on sexual harassment in Jewish and Arab schools in Israel with regard to gender, age, and cultural differences. Method: The study is part of the first national survey on school violence in Israel. The representative sample includes 10,400 students in grades 7 through 11 attending public schools in Israel. Students were asked to report whether they were victims of specific acts of sexual harassment in school during the month before the survey. Results: Overall, 29.1% of the students were victims of at least one act of harassment. The more common acts were to show offensive pictures or to send obscene letters, to take off or to try to take off part of the student's clothing, and to try to kiss a student. The most vulnerable groups are the Arab boys and 8th grade students. Report rates were the lowest among Arab girls. Conclusions: Sexual harassment is prevalent in Israeli schools. The pattern of victimization is different for boys and girls and for students in Jewish and Arab schools. These patterns are a complex phenomenon that must be considered in the intervention and policy measures addressing sexual harassment at school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-166
Number of pages18
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Education.

Keywords

  • Gender violence
  • School violence
  • Sexual harassment

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