Causation and Demographics of Sexual Harassment in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Taofeek Oluwayomi Gidado, Wemimo Mercy Okunola, Temitope Abeeb Yusuf


Sexual harassment has become a synonym for describing Obafemi Awolowo University in light of frequent occurrence of the problem in most recent time. This study investigated the causes of sexual harassment and the demography of harassers and their victims. The study went further to investigate the attitude of respondents (female undergraduate students) to efforts put in place by the university authority to rein in on sexual harassers. The study employed a quantitative research method and the instrument for data collection was a structured questionnaire. The study identified multiple factors that facilitate sexual harassment. Female students in their final year are most prone to sexual harassment. Female students who lust for undeserving marks constitute another category most vulnerable to sexual harassment. Indecent dressing among female students was identified as a factor that exposes them to sexual harassment. In spite of zero tolerance of the university management to sexual harassment, respondents did not have confidence in measures put in place by the authorities to rein on sexual harassment. Respondents argued that sexual harassment is underreported for sundry reasons relating to policy, procedures, institutional measures and stereotypes. They suggest that extant policies orchestrated at containing sexual harassment are not inclusive of stakeholders in the university; and that the approach of the university to address the problem seems more impulsive than preventive. Conclusively, there is no consensus on the definition of the problem or how best to respond to it.


Sexual harassment; University authority; Violence; Rape; Policy

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