Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School

Based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of students conducted in May and June 2011, this report presents the most comprehensive research to date on sexual harassment in grades 7–12 and reveals some sobering statistics about the prevalence of sexual harassment and the negative impact it has on students’ education. The report concludes with concrete recommendations and promising practices for preventing sexual harassment. The recommendations are directed at school administrators, educators, parents, students, and community members. We hope readers will be inspired to take new steps toward making schools free from sexual harassment.


Details about the survey methodology conducted by Knowledge Networks is available for download.

Report Authors

Catherine Hill is the vice president for research at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and an author of AAUW reports including Women in Community Colleges: Access to Success (2013); Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation (2012); and Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (2010). Before coming to AAUW, Hill was a study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and an assistant professor in planning and public policy at the University of Virginia. She has a bachelor and master’s degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in policy development from Rutgers University.

Holly Kearl is the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund program manager. Previously she worked for the National Women’s History Museum. Kearl also is a leading expert and writer on gender-based street harassment. She founded and wrote Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women (Praeger, 2010). She serves as a gender reviewer for U.N. Habitat’s 2013 Global Reports on Human Settlements. Kearl earned a master’s degree from George Washington University and bachelor’s degrees from Santa Clara University.

Stay Informed

Read more about sexual harassment »

Check out media coverage of the report »