What Is Eve Teasing? A Mixed Methods Study of Sexual Harassment of Young Women in the Rural Indian Context
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2017
Source ID: shanti-sources-65301
Collection: Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Depression
Abstract: Eve teasing was identified as a significant community problem through a community-based participatory process with nine villages in Punjab, India. Eve teasing is a common euphemism in South Asia for sexual harassment of women in public areas by men. The purpose of this study was to characterize the meaning of eve teasing in the rural context, especially among female youth, and to develop a means to measure its occurrence. Mixed methods were utilized including focus group discussions (FGDs), semistructured interviews, and direct observation of questionnaire administration. Thirty-four people participated in six FGDs; two with adolescent boys (n = 10), two with adolescent girls (n = 15), and two with women ages 20 to 26 years (n = 9). Eighty-nine females, ages 14 to 26 years, were recruited through purposive sampling for face-to-face interviews in homes and schools. Twenty-four interviews were observed directly to aid questionnaire development. Eve teasing was described as staring, stalking, passing comments, and inappropriate physical touch. Perceived consequences of eve teasing included tight restrictions on girls’ mobility, inability to attend school or work, girls being blamed, and causing family problems. FGD participants suggested that eve teasing can lead to depression and suicide. Among the 36 (40.4%) interview participants who reported eve teasing, 61.1% reported feelings of anger, 47.2% reported feelings of shame or humiliation, and more than one third reported feelings of fear, worry, or tension. The questionnaire offers a means to assess the occurrence of eve teasing that is culturally relevant and age appropriate for female youth in India.