Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Lafreniere, Kathryn,


Psychology, Social.




The present study examined the sexual harassment experiences of 170 female graduate students at the University of Windsor enrolled in the 1994 winter term. Female graduate students' experiences of sexual harassment from three possible sources, faculty members, peers, and undergraduates, were solicited in the present study. Two additional issues were examined in the present study. Firstly, the frequency of sexual harassment of female graduate students by undergraduate students, or contrapower harassment, was examined by comparing women who had formal working relationships with undergraduates with those who did not. Secondly, the frequency of sexual harassment of female graduate students in non-traditional compared to traditional departments was examined. Sexual harassment was found to be a problem experienced by female graduate students in the present sample. A majority of the participants reported experiencing gender harassment, with reports of seductive behaviour and sexual assault following in order of decreasing frequency. Sexual coercion and sexual bribery, although reported by a relatively small portion of female graduate students, were the least frequent forms of harassment experienced by participants. As hypothesized, sexual harassment was found to be disruptive to the educational experience of female graduate students. Analyses revealed that sexual harassment lowered academic self-esteem, and increased perceived stress, and psychological and physical strain. Comparisons between women in traditional and non-traditional departments did not result in significant differences in sexual harassment, although these results might have been influenced by non-response on the part of women from some non-traditional departments. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0899. Adviser: Kathryn Lafreniere. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.