n South African Journal of Higher Education - Sexual harassment : the 'silent killer' of female students at the University of Ayoba in South Africa

Volume 27, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The current non-experimental study sought to establish the extent to which sexual harassment takes place at the higher education institution (HEI) under investigation, which for reasons of anonymity will be referred to as the University of Ayoba, in South Africa. The research problem of the study was articulated through the following research questions: (1) What is sexual harassment? (2) Does sexual harassment exist at the University of Ayoba? (3) How is sexual harassment handled at the University of Ayoba? The study targeted female fourth-year students in the Faculty of Education. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and were analysed quantitatively. The findings showed that respondents understand what sexual harassment means. The findings furthermore revealed that sexual harassment is prevalent at the case study university; the biggest problem is evident in students who have had to repeat modules due to their refusing the attentions of sex-seeking lecturers. The results of the study indicated that incidents of sexual harassment are seldom reported adequately by victims, as they would rather be discussed among females. The implications of sexual harassment are discussed and recommendations are made on how to address sexual harassment at HEIs.

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