The Effects of Gender Violence/Harassment Prevention Programming in Middle Schools: A Randomized Experimental Evaluation
In this study, the authors explored the effects of gender violence/sexual harassment (GV/SH) prevention programming in middle schools. A total of 123 sixth and seventh grade classrooms from Cleveland area schools were randomly assigned to one of two five-session curricula addressing GV/SH or to a no-treatment control. Student surveys were administered pre- and post-intervention and 5-6 months later. Students in the law and justice curricula, compared to the control group, had significantly improved outcomes in awareness of their abusive behaviors, attitudes toward GV/SH and personal space, and knowledge. Students in the interaction curricula experienced lower rates of victimization, increased awareness of abusive behaviors, and improved attitudes toward personal space. Neither curricula affected perpetration or victimization of sexual harassment. While the intervention appeared to reduce peer violence victimization and perpetration, a conflicting finding emerged - the intervention may have increased dating violence perpetration (or at least the reporting of it) but not dating violence victimization. Modified Author Abstract.