The study examined perceived effect of sexual harassment and social intelligence on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos state, a case study of three selected university in Lagos State. The study employed the survey design and the purposive sampling technique to select 450 students across all department and level. A well-constructed questionnaire, which was adjudged valid and reliable, was used for collection of data from the respondents. The data obtained through the administration of the questionnaires was analyzed using the Pearson correlation analysis.
The results showed that there is positive and significant relationship between Sexual harassment and social interaction (r=0.772; p<0.05); Social intelligence significantly and social interaction (r=.896; p<0.05); Sexual harassment, social intelligence and social interaction (r=0.772; p<0.05).
The study concluded that sexual harassment and social intelligence has significant effect on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos state.
The study recommended that; The universities in Nigeria should formulate policy on sexual harasement; Sensitization on students on what is sexual harassment; Open forum for discussion on sexual harasement; Guidance and Counselling department should be established in every secondary schools, which should be headed by a qualified counsellor; Students should be adequately remunerated through attractive counselling programs and packages in order to avoid abuse by the students.
1.1 Background to the Study
Social interaction is a dynamic sequence of social actions between individuals and groups of individuals who modify their actions and reactions due to actions by interacting with others (Okpe, 2012). According to Bales (2007), social interaction is largely made up of the talking that people do when they are together. Talk or conservation is the fulcrum of social interaction. Social interaction is so much a part of the means by which humans think that only rarely do they take it as an object of study in itself. Social structure can be described as the social exchange between two or more individuals. These interactions form the basis for social structure and therefore are key object of basic social inquiry and analysis. Social interaction can be studied between groups of two (dyads), three (triads) or larger social groups. Social structures and cultures are founded upon social interaction (Ezewu, 2009). By interacting with one another, people design rules, institutions and systems within which they seek to live. Symbols are used to communicate the expectations of a given society to those new to it.
Heald (2008) averred that the empirical study of social interaction is one of the subjects of micro sociology, which is concerned with the nature of daily human social interactions and agency on a small scale. The most favorable conditions for the detailed study of social interaction are those which can be created in the laboratory (Bales, 2007). However, the characteristics of work groups, play groups, social gathering and groups formed for the purposes of education, deliberation, decision-making, planning and therapy can be studied within the context of social interaction. Datta (2010) opined that social interaction can be categorized into four parts namely (a) questions (asking for information, opinion and suggestion) (b) problem-solving attempt (giving information, opinion and suggestion) (c) positive reactions (showing agreement, tension release and solidarity) and (d) negative reactions (showing disagreement, tension and antagonism).
Serially frustrated students in simplest term, refers to those who have experienced frustration persistently. Frustration arises when there is a perceived resistance to the fulfillment of an individual‘s will and is most likely to increase when a will is blocked or denied. Serial frustration is an outcome of intense anger, disappointment and annoyance (Zhou, 2010).Serially frustrated students tend to perform poorly in their academics. This happens because these set of students are bent to do things against their wishes.
In every human society, where there is interaction between opposite sex, some levels of sexual attraction are expected. When this occurs, mutual interest and reciprocal response defines a civilized and socially acceptable sexual behavior. Sexual harassment is one of the social vices that have captured the attention of researchers as it is a common phenomenon in Nigerian higher institutions. This abnormal behavior has been accepted as the order of the day in Nigerian higher institutions. Sexual harassment as defined by Taiwo and Omole (2014) is unsolicited, unwelcomed and unwanted sexual relations from another person. This includes any inappropriate sexual overture, subtle and unsubtle persistent behavior, assault and sexual abuse that may be expressed physically, verbally or non-verbally, usually from someone with a higher power to a less privileged person. In a research carried out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights, it was established that victims of sexual harassment develop anger, annoyance and embarrassment. In addition, one out of three victims of sexual harassment feels fearful due to the incident and one out of five victims feel ashamed. Sexual harassment produces depression, frustration and stress depending on the psychological coping mechanism of the victim as well as the kind of harassment encountered.
Social intelligence refers to individual’s ability to get along and co-operate with others positively. In another sense, social intelligence is the ability to connect with people and influence them effectively. Thornidike (1920) studied intelligence from three perspectives, pertaining to the ability to understand and manage ideas (abstract intelligence), real objects (mechanical intelligence) and people (social intelligence). Social intelligence refers to the ability of an individual to comprehend and manage other people and to engage in adaptive social interaction (Saxena and Rajat, 2013). Social intelligence is a powerful correlate of social interaction. People with high social intelligence find it easy to interact with others and respond to situations within their environment.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Sexual harassment is partly associated with assault, subjugation, coercion, discrimination and victimization. Sexual harassment affects the psychological make-up of its victims leaving them with emotional pains. This menace – sexual harassment is a common phenomenon in tertiary institutions across the globe, although in varying degrees. In Nigeria, government and school authorities address the issue with levity. No concrete legislation has been enacted to punish perpetrators of sexual harassment. Victims of sexual harassment choose to keep quiet because they know their case will be abandoned later on. Victims of sexual harassment often tend to live in solitude, pains, resentment, depression and frustration as they prefer to handle the issue with secrecy. This often makes the quality of their social interaction poor. Often times, sexual harassment destroys the level of social interaction of its victims.
Social intelligence can be considered as a valuable skill that helps students to manage the demanding nature of academics. Socially intelligent students tend to combine non-academic activities with their academics, and still excel in both. In addition, being socially intelligent does not only help students to learn better but also make them expressive and articulate in their communication with others. To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, no studies have been investigated to examine the relationship between sexual harassment, social intelligence and social interaction. To this end, the study therefore attempts to examine the perceived effects of sexual harassment and social intelligence on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the perceived effects of sexual harassment and social intelligence on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State. The specific objectives of the study are:
- To assess the perceived effect of sexual harassment on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State.
- To investigate the perceived effect of social intelligence on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State.
- To explore the joint effect of sexual harassment and social intelligence of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State.
1.4 Research Questions
The study attempts to provide fact-finding answers to the following research questions:
- To what extent does sexual harassment predict the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State?
- To what extent does social intelligence predict the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State?
- To what extent do sexual harassment and social intelligence jointly predict the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Based on the objectives of the study, the following hypotheses are therefore formulated. They are stated in their null form.
- Sexual harassment does not significantly predict the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State.
- Social intelligence does not significantly predict the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State.
- Sexual harassment and social intelligence has no joint significant effect on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is beneficial to students, school authorities, counselors and future researchers. To the students, the study helps them understand the concept and implications of sexual harassment. It equally informs them on how to appropriately handle sexual harassment if encountered. It also unveils to the students how they can use their social intelligence to promote their level of social interaction. To school authorities, the study uncovers the trend of sexual harassment in universities and how legislations can be enacted to reduce the occurrence of sexual harassment to the barest minimum in Nigerian universities. Counselors will find this study worthwhile as it help them to provide better solutions to students who are victims of academic frustration, sexual harassment, poor social intelligence and social interaction. The study also serves as a body of reserved knowledge that can be consulted by future researchers interested in the subject matter.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study examines the perceived effects of sexual harassment and social intelligence on the social interaction of serially frustrated undergraduates in Lagos State. The study covers three universities located in Lagos State namely University of Lagos, Lagos State University and Caleb University. 60 female undergraduates are selected in each university. Thus, the sample size of the study consists of 180 female undergraduates. Priority is given to female undergraduates because they are more susceptible to cases of sexual harassment than their male counterparts.
1.8 Definition of Key Terms
Perceived: This indicates consciousness or awareness about something or someone.
Sexual Harassment: This refers to any uninvited and unwelcomed verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially from a person with much authority to a less-advantaged person (from a lecturer to a student).
Social Intelligence: This refers to individuals’ ability to get along with others and to co-operate positively with others.
Frustration: This implies a feeling or expression of distress and annoyance resulting from the inability to change or achieve something.
Social Interaction: This refers to the act of communicating with others verbally or non-verbally and also to respond to happenings within one’s environment.
Undergraduate: A student undergoing a degree programme in a university.