Effects of sexual harassment on the academic performance of female students at Makerere University
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Despite the progress that is being made to avert the problem of sexual harassment in schools all over the world, it still remains a big challenge and various cases of sexual harassment have been reported at Makerere where female students are more sensitive to sexual harassment than male students. It is clear that sexual harassment comes along with various effects not only on the side of the student but also the integrity of the University. This study therefore sought to establish the effects of sexual harassment on the academic performance of female students at school of social sciences, Makerere University and the specific objectives of the study included to describe the forms of sexual harassment experienced by female students, to find out the effects of sexual harassment on the class attendance of female students and lastly to find out the effects of sexual harassment on the level of concentration of female students at Makerere University. The study employed a cross-sectional case study design to collect both qualitative and quantitative approaches from the female students of the School of Social Sciences-Makerere University and by the end of the study, data had been collected from 80 students. The study findings showed that verbal sexual expression suggestions is the most common form of sexual harassment perceived and this involved male student making unwanted sexual jokes to the females are not interested in and persistent sending of WhatsApp message asking for sex. Other forms of sexual harassment identified in the study also included non-verbal intrusive such as body movements, non-verbal sending of sexual images, physical unwanted touches and physical rape attempts. With regard to effect on class attendance, the study depicted that sexual harassment affects the class attendance negatively as those harassed take some time to get back to class and lastly the stud demonstrated that those harassed find it hard to concentrate in class. From findings Makerere University needs to increase sensitisation and awareness of sexual harassment among both students and staff at Makerere University through during orientation week and through seminars on sexual health throughout the students’ academic year to help raise awareness to break the female silence to take appropriate action towards harassment and further research should be conducted to investigate the underlying factors that force the perpetrators to sexually harass the female students.