DOD Service Academies. More Actions Needed To Eliminate Sexual Harassment. Report to Congressional Requesters.Report as inadecuate

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The General Accounting Office reviewed sexual harassment of students at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and the Military Academy in West Point, New York. At the core of the review were surveys of academy students, faculty, and staff conducted in late 1990 and early 1991 and focus groups of academy students. Results of more recent studies conducted by the academy were also reviewed to determine if results were still valid. Findings indicated between one-half to three-quarters of academy women experienced various forms of harassment at least twice a month; the vast majority of men reported never having experienced sexual harassment. The harassment women experienced usually took the following forms: derogatory personal comments; comments that standards had been lowered for women; comments that women did not belong at the academy; exposure to offensive posters, signs, or t-shirts; or mocking gestures or language. Only a small fraction of sexual harassment complaints were formally reported. A correlation was found between a student's reported exposure to sexual harassment and higher levels of stress. To varying degrees, sexual harassment eradication programs at each academy met the minimum criteria established by the Department of Defense. The academies had not evaluated their sexual harassment eradication programs in a routine, systematic manner. (A description of questionnaire methodology is appended.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Females, Higher Education, Military Schools, Military Training, Officer Personnel, Prevention, Program Evaluation, Sex Bias, Sex Stereotypes, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment

U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 (first copy free; additional copies $2 each; 100 or more: 25% discount).

Author: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Div. of National Security and International Affairs.


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