Prevalence of Sexual Harassments and Their Association with Psychological Distress among Pharma College Female Students, Southern, Ethiopia: 2018

Kaleab Tesfaye Tegegne


Background: a number of studies conducted on sexual harassment focused on general magnitude rather than the specific details of the various forms of sexual harassment and their effect on psychological health. Thus, the objective of this study is to assess the various forms of sexual harassment and their association with psychological distress among Pharma College female students.Methods and Materials: Institution based cross sectional study was conducted among female students of Pharma College from 01/06/2018 to 30/08/2018G.C. Stratified random sampling technique was employed to recruit 385 students. A pretested and structured self-administered questionnaire was used. After collection the data was checked for completeness, cleaned, coded, entered and was analyzed using SPSS-21 version software. Descriptive statistics including frequencies, percentages, and standard deviations was used to describe findings. The presence of association between dependent and independent variables was assessed using Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Associations of independent variable with p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.Result: The prevalence rates of physical, verbal and nonverbal sexual harassments were 22.1%, 38.4% and 17.1%, respectively, while the prevalence rate of psychological distress among students who had experienced sexual harassment was 36.3%. The multivariable logistic regression analyses indicated that students monthly income <500 were 2 times more likely to be physically [adjusted OR = 4.787, 95% CI = (2.127, 10.773)] and verbally [(adjusted OR = 4.151, 95% CI= (2.246, 7.671] harassed than those in monthly income 500-999.Conclusion and Recommendation: The prevalence of various forms of sexual harassment were higher and strongly associated with psychological distress. Important implications for college officials and policy makers including creating harassment free institution have been drawn. Otherwise, female students tend to dropout and their academic achievements suffer a lot as a result of psychological distress; and the government’s effort for realizing the gender parity in education would be compromised.

Keywords: Verbal sexual harassment, Nonverbal sexual harassment, Physical sexual harassment and Psychological distress.

DOI: 10.7176/JNSR/9-7-05

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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