Counteracting the Scourge of Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions

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  • Topic: Human sexual behavior, Abuse, Sexual intercourse
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  • Published : April 11, 2013
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COUNTERACTING THE SCOURGE OF
SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

PROF DONALD ABIDEMI ODELEYE
Faculty of Education
Lead City University,
Ibadan, Nigeria
bodeleye@gmail.com
&
MRS OLANIYI-ADEGUN
Head, Dept of Business Studies,
The Polytechnic,
Ibadan, Nigeria

ABSTRACT
The challenge of indiscipline at various levels of Nigerian education is becoming so intimidating that it seems to be ready to grind the whole educational service apparatus to a halt. Almost on daily basis and on a fairly large scale, suppressed complaints are given by female students about lecturers who threaten to victimize them in their courses should they reject their (the lecturers’) overtures. Added to this is the challenge of seductive dressing habits of some young women in our tertiary institutions. Some male members of the academic community (lecturers and students) often take the position that it is the female students’ suggestive dressings that initiate sexual harassment. Unfortunately, the scourge is tarnishing the lofty image of the ivory towers as centres of innovation and development. It is clear that university administrators are having sleepless nights in addressing this scourge. Thus, this paper focuses on defining sexual harassment, its various manifestations, the harassee and the harasser, implications of sexual harassment on individual members of the academic community and ends with suggestions as to ameliorating if not outrightly eliminate sexual harassment from Nigerian tertiary institutions. It is the position of this paper that sexual harassment is fast destroying the academic toga of our educational institutions. It is taking its toll on the academia and the students’ ability to succeed academically is being undermined. The authors suggest that individual institutions customise mechanisms that would checkmate this menace. Measures such as team teaching of courses, institution of dress codes and organization of seminars and workshops to sensitize the community on the implications of sexual harassment would help minimize the incidence of the cankerworm in our schools.

Key Words: Indiscipline, Sexual Harassment and Victim

INTRODUCTION
One primary reason why most individuals get involved in higher education is to achieve some set goals or targets. With the enabling environment, it is expected that both students and lecturers should thrive and excel with their set goals. However, it is expedient to note that it is not likely that achievement would result from feverish attempts or casual wishful desires. Success stories are usually as a result of determined disciplined and concerted actions. Excellence in life is not just doing extraordinary things but it is the successful conduct of ordinary business in extraordinary way and with well-articulated planned actions. It is quite expedient for anyone aspiring to excellence in life to cultivate a disciplined lifestyle. Discipline enables one to build steadfastness and resilience which will ultimately lead to intellectual stability. An achiever is not easily distracted from her life goals. She is quite focused and would not allow the temporal issues of life to take her away from her set goals. She is normally excited to endure and persevere until the set goal is achieved. She remains composed without allowing adversity to push her sideways. A disciplined individual is not at the mercy of her nerves since she is aware that a break in steady and disciplined efforts can push one away from long range pursuits. In the 21st century, most academicians acknowledge the existence of sexual harassment, and increasing numbers of reported incidents have led to University policies and procedures to address the pervasiveness of the problem and its effects (Dz. While there is agreement on the most egregious cases, definitional ambiguity continues to exist. Even less clear is whether what is termed consensual relationships between students and teachers constitute sexual harassment...
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