6 Major Factors Influencing Sexual Harassment in Schools


According to Sunday Punch published on November 26, 200 captioned ‘Sex secrets wishes knew’. Research suggests that men are turned on by visual stimulation, men are more visually oriented and women are more verbally oriented.

That is why boys look at erotic magazines for sexual stimulation while girls read romance novels. The question to be asked is inspired by all the efforts being put forward by scholars, social workers, religious leaders, professional counselors, etc.

Why is it that the eminence of social harassment, abuse misconduct, immorality, and misinformation among adolescents and youths still waging our schools and society at large?

It is on the premise of this that the study sets out to look into some of these factors. The following are those factors influencing sexual harassment in our schools.

Non-challant attitude of parents


The non-challenge attitude of parents towards educating their children about sexuality makes children grow wild sexually.

This is not surprising because parents do not discuss sexual matters with their children for fear of encouraging or influencing them negatively. They, therefore, hold it as a taboo and owe that taboo great esteem.

Essein (1974) and Owumanam (1982) have shown in their studies that there is an increase in the rate of premature sexual activities among youths; an activity that may not have the necessary informal knowledge about.

This prenatal attitude has led some children into sexual experience, pregnancy, abortions, etc., all are indicators of a need for the standard form of sex orientation right from homes/families.

Socio-economic background of the parents

The inability of parents to satisfy the needs of their children for all good things drives these girls into the ready hands of men who are in the upper classes or even the so-called teachers.

Dawson (1991) stated that adolescents from divorced families tend to have higher rates of drug abuse, alcohol, premarital sexual activity, poor academic performance, and higher rates of dropout from school.

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The situation is highlighted in one of the studies by Makinde (1978) which shows that more than one million teenagers 15-19 years old become pregnant in the United States; 600,000 babies were born out of wedlock, and 100, 000 forced marriages were recorded apart from gross death of students.

Mass media

Some newspapers, film houses, and recently home videos capitalized on this natural tendency of adolescents by showing or carrying pictures, stories, magazines, and news that tend to arouse their sexual urges or feelings.

According to Sunday Punch published on November 26, 2000, capitalized on ‘Sex secrets men wishes knew’.

Research suggests that men are turned on by visual stimulation, men are more visually oriented and women are more verbally oriented that is why boys look at erotic magazines for sexual stimulation while girls read romance novels.

Jean Bart (1085) reported that sexual harassment among school girls and boys is a growing concern in many African countries and the social problems it engenders are abundantly described in the literature.

According to Boheme et al. (1991), it is a major cause of interrupted and discontinued education. This sexual harassment is on the increase among this level of students which is already widely acknowledged and it has adverse effects on them socially, academically, and psychologically.

Peer groups/age mates

Those students who do not receive adequate parental attention at home have too much freedom which they always abuse.

These students enjoy sexual togetherness, they enjoy engaging themselves in idle talk or gossip which is relatively dominated by sexual gist, and they do this at the expense of their studies.

According to Butterfield (1939), sheer curiosity leads children to investigate their bodies and those of their peer groups. The same experimentation after puberty is another matter.

To discourage it completely might prevent boys and girls at youthful ages from ever developing a healthy relationship with the other sex.

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On the other hand, allowing it to go to its logical extreme can cause tragedy since adolescents are no longer children. Boys can become fathers and girls can become mothers.

The inference from this view is that for a healthy relationship to exist between both sexes, youths must not experiment with those bodies and those of the opposite curiosity.

Socio-cultural factor

Socio-cultural diffusion, especially in the urban towns is one of the factors that exerted a profound influence on the sexual behavior among the students in secondary schools.

Akinade (1982) supported this phenomenon when he said that the urban cities in Nigeria and Ghana were a growing permissiveness among youths and that some girls deliberately leave themselves to dress haphazardly to seduce others or initiate others into sexual immoralities.

Whereas in the past life was free from various kinds of sexual assaults as shown in the environment. The evidence shows that our local traditions and customs do not go in parri-passu with sexual immorality commonly found among students nowadays.

This means male students’ primary source of sexual arousal is the female’s appearance and it explains why men are fixed on women’s body or what she is wearing.

It also explains why even happily married sexually satisfied men admire other women without feeling the slightest emotional stirring, they experiment with some senses leading to lustfulness, dehumanization, raping of all sorts of sexual harassment behavior even in Nigerian schools.

Lack of sex education

Sex education is not as it is considered by some people a disaster, insurance is aimed at helping children grow safely into adulthood without getting into trouble.

This being the prevention of illegitimate pregnancies, a version of the transmission of several diseases, and curtailing sexual misconduct, neither is the forbidden areas, sex education should aim at providing youths with programs.

The programs would help them to build skills for the acquisition of behavior for proper sex conduct, satisfy their curiosity on sexuality, and provide adequate and appropriate information (such as the risks, disadvantages, and consequences of early sex involvement on an issue relating to sex).

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These provide indicators of the dire necessity for some standard form of education on sex in the formal school system.

Roger (1985) states that physical adolescence has some distinct periods pubescences ( pre-adolescence) are the two years before puberty and the physical changes taking place during that period.

This peak of pubescence is marked by certain indicators of sexual maturity in girls by the menarche or the first menses. Barnett (1993) reveals that evidence has in that the risks of mortality and mobility from unsafe abortion are especially higher for a female adolescent than for other women of all ages.

Sandrock (1990) on his part maintains that sexual identity as a development task of the adolescence makes her confront conflicting sexual values and messages.

Fakunle (1986) succinctly points out that as natural as a sexual relationship is, it creates a lot of problems for youths in particular.

Sex education prevents the adolescent from getting into problems in school, at home, and the society at large. Students are supposed to have the best knowledge about the facts of life.

Schools, where there are guidance and counseling units and orientation programs, including the lecturers on causes, effects, and implications of sexual harassment as well as the facilities media or materials for reporting and handling such offenses, not only but how can withstand temptation, etc. Where all these are lacking, adolescents fall into sexual problems.


All the factors explained above are the common factors influencing sexual harassment among secondary school students in our society nowadays.

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