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Title:The influence of gender role ideology on developmental trajectories of dismissive attitudes towards sexual harassment in early adolescence
Author(s):Marklein, Melanie
Director of Research:Espelage, Dorothy L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Espelage, Dorothy L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, Carolyn J.; Mayo, Cris S.; Ryan, Allison M.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sexual Harassment Attitudes
Gender Roles
Abstract:Sexual harassment of adolescent girls by their male peers is prevalent in schools, and tends to be normalized and dismissed by students and school personnel as a natural characteristic of cross-gender interactions in adolescence. This study highlights the gendered nature of sexual harassment in adolescence by examining the longitudinal association between socially constructed gender role ideologies and dismissive attitudes toward sexual harassment. Data were collected from 147 males and 164 females in three racially and economically diverse middle schools across four semesters. At each wave of data collection, students completed measures of masculinity and femininity ideology, sexual harassment perpetration and victimization, and attitudes toward sexual harassment. Growth curve modeling was used to examine developmental trajectories of dismissive attitudes toward sexual harassment and identify factors that account for different patterns of change. In the best-fitting model for females, dismissive attitudes decreased linearly over time, and endorsement of traditional masculinity and femininity ideologies was associated with dismissive attitudes across time. The final model accounted for 18.7% of the within-person variance and 27.8% of the between-person variance in dismissive attitudes. For males, a nonlinear change trajectory provided the best fit to the data. Traditional and nontraditional masculinity ideologies and sexual harassment perpetration accounted for different patterns of change. The final model accounted for 31.6% of the within-person variance and 41.5% of the between-person variance in dismissive attitudes. The results support a feminist sociocultural model of sexual harassment, which posits that sexual harassment arises from gendered power differentials that are legitimized and maintained by hegemonic masculinity ideology. Implications for the development of school prevention and intervention programs are discussed.
Issue Date:2012-05-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Melanie Marklein
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-22
Date Deposited:2012-05

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