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Young Men's Attitudes and Neighborhood Risk Factors for Sexual Harassment Perpetration in the United States

NCJ Number
305460
Journal
Journal of Community Health Volume: 45 Dated: 2020 Pages: 245–251
Author(s)
Elizabeth A. Mumford; Nnenna Okeke; Emily Rothman
Date Published
2020
Length
7 pages
Annotation

Since sexual harassment is a pervasive problem predominantly perpetrated by men, creating cultural shifts to prevent men’s sexual harassment perpetration requires attention to community as well as individual factors, so study data were collected from a cohort of 768 youth and young adult males ages 10–18 at baseline (2013), with follow-up 3 years later.

 

Abstract

Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem predominantly perpetrated by men. Creating cultural shifts to prevent men's sexual harassment perpetration requires attention to community as well as individual factors. Study data were collected from a cohort of 768 youth and young adult males ages 10-18 at baseline (2013), with follow-up 3 years later. Multivariable regression was applied to assess the role of neighborhood characteristics, including crime rates, gender equality, and concentrated disadvantage, adjusting for individual sociodemographics and views on traditional gender stereotypes. The self-reported prevalence of sexual harassment perpetration was 8.8%. In neighborhoods characterized by greater concentrated disadvantage, the likelihood of male sexual harassment perpetration was significantly lower than in neighborhoods characterized by greater advantages. Relative neighborhood advantage was associated with sexual harassment perpetration even controlling for the significant positive association between espousing traditional gender stereotypes and perpetration of sexual harassment. The relative rates of neighborhood crime and gender equality did not predict young males' sexual harassment perpetration. In sum, young men's perpetration of sexual harassment behaviors is more common in more advantaged communities, underscoring the importance of awareness that, beyond individual attitudes, there is a collective social influence on individual behavior.

Date Published: January 1, 2020