Sexual Harassment on International Branch Campuses
An Institutional Case Study of Awareness, Perception, and Prevention
Keywords:action research, cultural perceptions, international branch campus, prevention, sexual harassment
Concerned for student safety and intrigued by how research could impact institutional policy and practice, this paper describes findings from an action research project to raise questions and awareness about sexual harassment on an international branch campus in China. Due to the multicultural environment of the campus, it was felt that culturally grounded research that adds to our awareness and perceptions of sexual harassment would be imperative to facilitate prevention strategies in similar higher education environments. Through this case study, which received substantial institutional support, we also sought to learn more about students’ experiences. Different attitudes and perceptions on gender, identity, sexuality, and multicultural relationships were revealed by survey responses and interview conversations. Furthermore, data revealed that students were confused about sexual harassment consequences and responsibilities, and social media was misleading. The findings from this study point to the need for more research, especially concerning cultural attitudes and perspectives about sexual harassment, and can contribute to institutional mechanisms in preventing sexual harassment amongst an increasingly internationalized higher education community.
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