|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Female School Sexual abuse|
The problem of the study is to establish and determine the lived experiences of sexual abuses meted on young female students. Sexual abuse is gender-based violence where sexual attention is directed to an uninterested person where an individual is subjected to non-consensual sex. Concerning this problem, the study seeks to explore the possible drivers of the sexual harassment that has become dominant in most schools (Lindley & Walsemann, 2015). Also, the study proposes several solutions to this particular problem which has significantly dimmed the future life of female students. The purpose of the study is to examine the female students' experiences in school and more specifically their experiences with sexual harassment.
Moreover, the study seeks to explore how students who have been sexually abused in the school by teachers have been affected psychologically and academically. It should be understood that the study takes the phenomenological approach because it primarily focuses on the subjective experiences of the students in schools. This in itself calls for a qualitative approach where an in-depth interview is carried as the key method of data collection (Mackey & Gass, 2015). The phenomenological approach provides insight into the lived experiences of the students and how they have been affected psychologically and academically (Bartky, 2015).
For the achievement of the study, the following research questions help in understanding the issue of sexual abuses and elicit advance investigation.
- To what extent does the experience of sexual assault affect the young female students psychologically?
- How do the parents and senior education officers react to the sexual abuses of female students?
This study is qualitative. The qualitative research often seeks to understand the phenomena and experiences. It does not focus on the future aspect of the problem but rather on their past experiences. Sexual abuse refers to the violence act performed by an individual against someone perceived as physically and mentally weaker. It is a deliberate offense committed with an ill intention of harming the victim. It is worth to note that phenomenology has extreme relevance that can be used to explain the experiences of female students with sexual abuses (Cerbone, 2014). Female students by being young and naive often forced into sexual acts by their seniors in school. Many are the time they get abused and live with painful experiences for an extended period. Through the utilization of phenomenology, the truth about some of these horrible experiences can be established.
The phenomenological study adopted the use of in-depth interviews to unravel the increasing incidences of sexual abuse meted against students in schools. This approach was used to establish the key drivers of sexual assault on students. Instructively, the study relied on seeking the views of different participants on the subjective aspects of the observed behaviors of the female students who have been assaulted (Bartky, 2015).
In seeking the evidentiary threshold to establish and understand the experiences of female students who have been assaulted in school by their seniors, four participants were engaged in semi-structured open-ended interview questions. Just before the interview, the purpose of the study and the rights and confidential of the participants was made clear. The site where the interview was conducted was discussed, and consensus reached.
The participants were taken through semi-structured open-ended interview questions touching on their lived experiences of the sexual assault and how it affected their psychological stability and pursuit of academic excellence. It is worth to note that, the use of in-depth, open-ended questions made the participants free with the interviewer as it permitted them to critically and comprehensively explain their subjective experience (Lindley & Walsemann, 2015). The following open-ended interview questions ensued: "kindly explain to me how you experienced sexual abuse in school?"; "How was it like to be sexually assaulted by your teachers?" ; " Please describe what changed in your life after the abuse?"; "How did you react to the change?"; "What were your fears after your experience?"; " How did you deal with the fears?"; "How did your parents receive the news about your experience?"; "What actions did they take?"; "How did your experience impact on your academic progress?"; "How did you redeem yourself after the experience?".
To develop the textural and structural description of the experiences of the participants, a thorough phenomenological analysis of the answers was carried out. This often gives a clear understanding of the participants' experiences. Firstly, the provided answers to the interview questions were read to understand the experiences of the participants. Secondly, the interviewer uses the interview transcript to establish the answers that directly relates to the subject. It is imperative to note that the data collection took a phenomenological framework and this aided me in developing a clear understanding of the experiences of female students (Cerbone, 2014).
It should be noted that sexual abuse has been existent in virtually every society. From the data received from the participants, there was a common understanding of the act has the participants narrated their awful experiences in the hands of sexual pests. The participants explained their sexual abuse experiences in the hands of their seniors (Lindley & Walsemann, 2015). They narrated how they were lured by their unsuspected teachers to engage in sexual activity without their consent. Notably, the school setting is often secured, and the female students had no idea that their teachers can sexually abuse them.
The participants recounted how they were affected psychologically after the abuse and started performing poorly in school. They felt betrayed by their seniors who should be at the forefront in championing for their rights. In seeking to understand their reactions to the sexual abuse, the participants explained how horrified they were in explaining their ordeals especially to their peers and parents (Johnson et al., 2016). They described their fears where they explained that they were overwhelmed by negative feelings about their personality and they grew more withdrawn from the various activities in the school. The participants alluded that they sought the services of counselors to make them overcome their entrenched fear.
Moreover, the participants explained the reactions of their parents when they learned that they were sexually abused. Their parents took necessary action by reporting the sexual offenders to the relevant authorities to try and sentence them if found guilty (Lindley & Walsemann, 2015). Undoubtedly, sexually assaulted students more often tend to experience a sharp decline in their academic performance. This is because they tend to loathe their teachers and develop a sheer mistrust on them. This coupled by lack of concentration in class make them perform dismally in their academics (Johnson et al., 2016). On how they redeemed themselves after the sexual assault, the participants explained that even though the experiences could not be erased from their memories, they have stayed positive through the help of counselors and they are upbeat that they will still achieve their dreams.
Conclusion and Recommendation
It is worth noting that, the sexual victims often have a memory laced with despair and resentment. The study was seeking to unearth the lived experiences of sexually abused female students and to understand how such experiences shape their personal and academic life. Moreover, the female students have often found themselves on the receiving end of sexual assaults perpetrated by their seniors. They always become easy prey based on their gender and age. In light of this, the school management should always institutionalize ethical standards to be observed by both the teaching and non-teaching staff (Lindley & Walsemann, 2015).
Additionally, the parents should more often engage their parents on their experiences in school to enable their children to feel free to update them on what is going on in their lives. Understandably, most sexual assault victim usually feels ashamed to disclose their experiences because of fear of condemnation by their parents. Also, clear laws should be constituted to reduce this shameful act of sexual abuse. The sex pests will most likely continue with the act of abusing young female students especially when they know that there is a loophole in the laws on sexual assault. The future is primarily anchored on our young students, and therefore it beats to logic to continue subjecting them to harsh treatment in sexual abuse.
Bartky, S. L. (2015). Femininity and domination: Studies in the phenomenology of oppression. Routledge.
Cerbone, D. R. (2014). Understanding phenomenology. Routledge.
Johnson, L. M., Matthews, T. L., & Napper, S. L. (2016). Sexual orientation and sexual assault victimization among US college students. The Social Science Journal, 53(2), 174-183.
Lindley, L. L., & Walsemann, K. M. (2015). Sexual orientation and risk of pregnancy among New York City high-school students. American Journal of Public Health, 105(7), 1379-1386.
Mackey, A., & Gass, S. M. (2015). Second language research: Methodology and design. Routledge.
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