U of M Will Co-sponsor Seminar about Sexual Harassment in U.S. Schools University News
For release: August, 25 2008

For press information, contact Rebecca Terrell, 901-678-2153

The University of Memphis Center for Research on Women (CROW), in collaboration with the Domestic Violence Council, will present a public forum, “Hostile Hallways:  Sexual Harassment in U.S. Middle and High Schools,” on Friday, September 12, from 11:30  a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Urban Child Institute, 600 Jefferson Avenue. 

The event is free and open to the public, and free parking is available on-site.   Pre-registration is not required.  Lunch will be provided at 11 a.m. to the first 50 participants to arrive. 

“According to research by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), girls and women experiencing unwelcome sexual advances or a hostile school environment are likely subject to the same types of impacts and adverse outcomes as adult women in the workplace,” said CROW Director Dr. Lynda Sagrestano.  “This forum will provide a unique opportunity for the community to learn more about the extent and impact of harassment in our schools at the national and local levels.”

The U of M Center for Research on Women and the Memphis Area Women's Council (MAWC) have collaborated 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.

In 2008, with funding support from the Urban Child Institute and the University of Memphis Faculty Grants program, the project was expanded.  Nearly 500 students are currently being surveyed to help researchers get a better understanding of the experiences of sexual harassment among middle and high schools students in Memphis area public and private schools, as well as the impact of these experiences on their academic and personal development.  Study results will be published later this fall.

Forum speakers will include Lynda M. Sagrestano, Ph.D., director of the Center for Research on Women; Regina Lowery, M.A., director of the Center’s Sexual Harassment Project; and Deborah Clubb, executive director of the Memphis Area Women’s Council.

More information is available from Rebecca Terrell by phone at 901-678-2153, via email,  crow@memphis.edu, or on the CROW Web site,  http://crow.memphis.edu

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