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Title:Sexual Harassment at the University of Puerto Rico
Author(s):Ramos, Alexandra Mercedes
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fitzgerald, Louise F.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Sociology of
Psychology, Social
Women's Studies
Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Abstract:This study examines the phenomena of sexual harassment within the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) by integrating cultural discourse and the study of sexual harassment. The study design includes qualitative and quantitative research methods to present a comprehensive picture of sexual harassment at the UPR. The study has several purposes including the assessment of the prevalence rates, coping strategies, and outcomes of sexual harassment. In addition, Puerto Rican women's perceptions and attitudes on sexual harassment were examined, as well as definitions and manifestations of sexual harassment within the UPR and within the context of Puerto Rican culture.
Participants consisted of 402 female undergraduates from the UPR and 11 female interview participants. Furthermore, two other types of qualitative data were collected including documents collected at the UPR and participant observation.
The quantitative results suggest that sexual harassment and specific coping strategies do have negative outcomes for Puerto Rican women. In addition, it is suggested that, in this sample, avoidance and denial are the most frequently utilized coping strategies. The qualitative results suggests that cultural notions of "respeto" (respect), "confianza" (familiarity), definitions of "machismo," and attitudes (e.g., clothing and behavior) need to be incorporated into research on sexual harassment within Puerto Rican communities. Furthermore, culturally-specific measures (such as the attitudes scale) need to be developed to better assess sexual harassment.
The results of this study help us better understand how Puerto Rican women define and cope with sexual harassment, as well as what outcomes are most salient for this population. In turn, this information will better prepare psychologist to develop intervention or prevention efforts to improve the quality of life of Puerto Rican women.
Issue Date:1999
Description:193 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9953118
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-13
Date Deposited:1999

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