According to research by The American Association of University Women, girls and young women experiencing unwelcome sexual advances or a hostile school environment
are likely subject to the same types of impacts and adverse outcomes as adults in
The UofM Center for Research on Women (CROW) and the Memphis Area Women's Council
(MAWC) have teamed up to investigate the extent and impact of the problem in Memphis.
A small pilot study conducted in the Spring of 2007 by Girls for Change, a program
for young women ages 13 to 17 developed by MAWC, CROW, and the University of Memphis Women’s Studies program, indicated that the problem of sexual harassment in schools was
indeed prevalent in this community.
To explore this problem and the potential connection between harassment and early
sexual initiation, CROW and MAWC are conducting a multi-year initiative.
Phase I: Understand the experiences of sexual harassment among middle and high schools girls
in Memphis area public and private school systems, as well as the impact of these
experiences on their academic and personal development.
In 2008, with funding support from The Urban Child Institute and The University of Memphis Faculty Grants Program, Phase I of the project was begun. Nearly 600 students were surveyed to help researchers better understand the experiences
of sexual harassment among middle and high schools students in Memphis area public
and private school systems, as well as the impact of these experiences on their academic
and personal development. Study results were published in April 2009. (Download complete report here.)
Phase II: Using data from Phase I, create an intervention program that will empower girls
to effect change related to the conditions surrounding sexual harassment in their
Phase III: Develop policy and advocacy tools for use by the young women in Girls for Change
who will approach school administrators and school boards to seek change in this domain,
including enacting better sexual harassment policies in the schools and implementing
the peer education program.
For more information on this project contact Dr. Lynda Sagrestano at 678-2770.
Nowhere to Hide: A Look at the Pervasive Atmosphere of Sexual Harassment in Memphis
Area Middle and High Schools
24 pages, April 2009
LGBT Related Sexual Harassment in Schools
1 page, August 2009
Printed copies of the report are available for $5 each. Discounts available for orders
of 10 copies or more.
Call 901.678.2770 or send email to CROW@memphis.edu
Shipping and handling will be added to all orders.
More Information on Sexual Harassment
Memphis City Schools Student Code of Conduct
Memphis City Schools Adult-to-Student Harassment Policy (5.5001)
Memphis City Schools Student-to-Student Harassment Policy (6.3041)
Shelby County Schools Student-Parent Handbook (see p. 33 – 35, policy #6408)
US Dept of Education Office of Civil Rights Info on Sexual Harassment in School
AAUW Policy Information on Sexual Harassment in School
AAUW National Study in Sexual Harassment in School
AAUW Resource Guide for Stopping Sexual Harassment in School