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Home > 10 Key Areas of Title IX > Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Before Title IX

Making sexual innuendos, calling people sexually charged names, spreading rumors about sexual activity, or touching someone inappropriately used to be dismissed as "boys will be boys" type of behavior at best, and rude or crude at worst.

Since Title IX

Sexual harassment in education includes any unwanted and unwelcome sexual behavior that significantly interferes with a student's access to educational opportunities. The Supreme Court has confirmed that schools have an obligation under Title IX to prevent and address harassment against students, regardless of whether the harassment is perpetrated by peers, teachers, or other school officials.

Why Title IX Is Still Critical

Sexual harassment in schools is still commonplace -- for girls and for boys. Here are some sobering statistics:

  • Eight in 10 students experience some form of harassment during their school years, and more than 25% of them experience it often.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to experience sexual harassment (56% versus 40%), but boys today are more likely to be harassed than boys were in 1993.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to say that sexual harassment caused them to not want to go to school, change the way they go home from school, and have trouble sleeping.
  • Typical harassment complaints still include: making sexual comments, jokes, gestures, or looks; claiming that a person is gay or lesbian; spreading sexual rumors about a person; touching, grabbing or pinching someone in a sexual way; intentionally brushing up against someone in a sexual way; and flashing or "mooning" someone.

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Fallout from Fresno State's Multi-Million Dollar Cases

Valley Title IX advocate named Woman of the Year
Fresno State's Milutinovich honored for unwavering commitment to gender equity
The California State Senate honored Diane Milutinovich, Associate Athletic Director emeritus of California State University Fresno, as the Sixteenth Senate District's Woman of the Year for her many contributions to women's athletics and her unwavering fight for gender equity in higher education. Milutinovich recently retired from Fresno State after 27 years as a highly-respected coach and athletics administrator.  Her strong advocacy for gender equity ultimately led to her removal from the athletics department, spurring charges of gender discrimination and resulting in a $3.5 million settlement by the University in 2007.

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Davis, Aurelia v. Monroe County Board of Education

In December 1992, a fifth-grader named LaShonda was the victim of prolonged sexual harassment from a boy who sat next to her in class at Hubbard Elementary School in Monroe County, Georgia.

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