Sexual Harrassment in School at All Time High

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A new national survey to be released Monday claims sexual harassment in America's middle and high schools is at an all time high.

Nearly half of the 1,965 students polled said they experienced sexual harassment during the 2010-2011 school year.

The survey conducted by the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit research organization, defined harassment as "unwelcome sexual behavior that takes place in person or electronically."

Over all, 48 percent of seventh through 12th-graders say they experienced some form of sexual harassment.

More girls than boys reported they had been "victims."

Fifty-six percent of girls and 40 percent of boys experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

"I was called a whore because I have many friends that are boys," one ninth-grade girl was quoted in the study as saying.

An eighth-grade boy reported, "They spread rumors I was gay because I played on the basketball team."

A third of the students say the harassment made them feel sick, affected their study habits, or fueled reluctance to go to school.

Only 9 percent say they reported the incident.

"It's pervasive and almost a normal part of the school day," Catherine Hill, director of research at the association, told The New York Times.

The report contends that many forms of harassment are prevalent, the most common being unwelcome sexual comments, gestures, or jokes.

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