Sexual harassment may occur between supervisor and staff member, professor and student, advisor and student, or among colleagues and peers. Stalkers may target former partners, friends, or even strangers on whom to focus their unwanted attention.

The following examples, both subtle and obvious, illustrate some of the ways these problems may manifest themselves:

  • After identifying herself as a feminist in class, Mary receives an anonymous e-mail message calling her a "feminazi" and "man-hating dyke." Her car is sprayed with shaving cream and there are repeated calls in the middle of the night.
  • Kevin goes to a campus party where he is pinched by a female student who exclaims, "Nice buns you got there."
  • A male supervisor is known for his tendency to make sexual advances to women, remarking on their appearance, and trying to touch them if they are alone. Others in his department know about his behavior, but brush it off as harmless, or consider it none of their business. This forces female staff members to warn other women never to get caught alone with him.
  • A female student who has typically gotten As in her major receives a bad grade for her paper. She sets up a meeting to discuss it with her male professor. At the session, he invites her to his home and suggests she may be able to improve her grade if she treats him right. She reports the incident to the Dean when the male professor continues to downgrade her work. In the end, her papers are reviewed by another member of the department and she is given an A.
  • A male coach comments to a female athlete, "You’re looking a little chubby––must be that time of the month again," laughs, and pats her behind.
  • Sam keeps a small baseball bat in his room with the words "fag basher" carved in it. In a confrontation with Max, a gay student on the hall, Sam waves the bat around in an attempt to intimidate Max and get him to leave the hall lounge. Despite urging from his friends, Max decides not to report the incident for fear of retaliation.
  • Jennifer stops by the house to talk to Matt about a class project. While they’re talking in the lounge, a number of male students are throwing darts at a dartboard in the shape of a woman’s torso and are loudly commenting on their "scores."
  • A male professor says to a female student, "The reason you can’t do this is because girls aren’t good at quantitative analysis."
  • While visiting his girlfriend, Frank notices a bulletin board on her sorority suite that lists his name along with those of a number of other male students. Next to each name is a "sex rating," that is, the results of a poll to find the man with whom the sorority sisters would most like to sleep.
  • A woman student at a fraternity formal is verbally taunted during the banquet for refusing to participate in a "spoon contest" where a "cook" walks around with a spoon and compares women’s breasts.
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