Instead of academic institutions being models of ideal behavior (Strine, 1992), they may be resistant to forces that threaten the preroga tives of faculty relative to students and men compared with women. Beginning in the 1980s numerous research reports (Dziech & Weiner, 1984; McCormack, 1985; Reilly, Lott, & Gallogly, 1986) as well as many selfstudies conducted by those institutions, identified sexual harassment as a not uncommon behavior on the campuses of our colleges and universities.
Academic environments have their own culture with a stratified hierarchy of power (levels of administration and academic rank, separate classes—faculty and students) and social scripts. The similarities between college and university campuses and society at large clearly outweigh the differences, yet the differences are important because their existence exacerbates the opportunities for abuses in power and exploitation (Zalk, 1990). Academia thus presents its own set of problems—specifically, the blurred boundaries between students and faculty, and the stratified hierarchy of power that is mainly male dominated. As Mezey (1992) argues, “academic harassment differs from workplace harassment because students are particularly vulnerable to faculty authority” (p. 180).