The aim of this study is to describe sexual harassment among Italian university students and analyze the relationship between harassment and disordered eating behaviors. An observational survey was conducted among university students at Trieste University (Italy) in spring 2014. Students answered an anonymous self-administered questionnaire about sexual harassment, including three domains—sexual harassment, unwanted comments on physical appearance, cyber-harassment—and disordered eating behaviors. The global sexual harassment index was computed with three levels: Level 0, no harassment; Level 1, harassment in at least one of the three domains; and Level 2, harassment in two or three domains. Disordered eating behaviors were classified by at least one of the following: (a) eating without being able to stop or vomiting at least once or twice a month, (b) using laxatives or diuretics at least once or twice a week, (c) monitoring weight every day, and (d) dieting at least very often. The sample included 759 students (347 men and 412 women; 18-29 years old). Experiencing sexual harassment was related to eating disorder symptoms for both genders with a regular gradient: the higher the harassment score, the more frequent the disordered eating behavior symptoms, even after adjusting for age and previous sexual violence. The association was stronger for males than females. Sexual harassment and disordered eating behaviors have long been considered mainly a female problem. Men are not exempt from these problems and in some cases may be more affected than women. The topics should be assessed in men and women.

Disordered Eating Behaviors and Sexual Harassment in Italian Male and Female University Students

ROMITO, PATRIZIA;BASTIANI, FEDERICA;
2019

Abstract

The aim of this study is to describe sexual harassment among Italian university students and analyze the relationship between harassment and disordered eating behaviors. An observational survey was conducted among university students at Trieste University (Italy) in spring 2014. Students answered an anonymous self-administered questionnaire about sexual harassment, including three domains—sexual harassment, unwanted comments on physical appearance, cyber-harassment—and disordered eating behaviors. The global sexual harassment index was computed with three levels: Level 0, no harassment; Level 1, harassment in at least one of the three domains; and Level 2, harassment in two or three domains. Disordered eating behaviors were classified by at least one of the following: (a) eating without being able to stop or vomiting at least once or twice a month, (b) using laxatives or diuretics at least once or twice a week, (c) monitoring weight every day, and (d) dieting at least very often. The sample included 759 students (347 men and 412 women; 18-29 years old). Experiencing sexual harassment was related to eating disorder symptoms for both genders with a regular gradient: the higher the harassment score, the more frequent the disordered eating behavior symptoms, even after adjusting for age and previous sexual violence. The association was stronger for males than females. Sexual harassment and disordered eating behaviors have long been considered mainly a female problem. Men are not exempt from these problems and in some cases may be more affected than women. The topics should be assessed in men and women.
12-ago-2016
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JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0886260516664315
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2890963
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