OC HIGH / STUDENT NEWS & VIEWS : OC High asks: Are attitudes about sexual harassment changing?

"I believe the situation is starting to change for the better. In my opinion, men are starting to take women more seriously in everyday situations such as school or work. People are starting to get the message that we are all equal in every way, except in anatomy. I also feel that women are starting to become more forward or aggressive when it comes to asking guys out, and this is definitely a good thing." Rich Hackett, 17, senior, Loara

"It depends on your gender. Women still generally think sexual harassment is a major insult and offense, while men think it's nothing." Norm Mowrer, 14, freshman, Sonora

"People are getting much better about not sexually harassing women, but people need to know that men can be sexually harassed also." Anne Chadburn, 15, sophomore, Capistrano Valley

"People are becoming more afraid of having a lawsuit brought against them now." Jennifer Klein, 17, senior, Huntington Beach

"Society in general is becoming more aware of sexual harassment, and people--especially women--are not being afraid to press charges. The Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill incident has opened the eyes of Americans to the fact that sexual harassment exists, and there are people who won't put up with it." Tasnim Gosla, 17, senior, Rosary

"With increased awareness and prosecution of sex offenders, potential violators are slowly beginning to clean up their act. But, like anything else, sex-related accusations can and have been abused." Chris Birkheimer, 17, junior, Sunny Hills

"No, it's just as bad." Denise Leuis, 17, junior, Bolsa Grande

"I think the entire situation about sexual harassment has been completely overemphasized. Sometimes there are serious incidents that deserve our attention, but usually I just read the paper and laugh." Jay Joyer, 17, senior, Corona del Mar

"I think it's still a problem, even though it's out in the open more and people are more aware of it." Shawnee Stevens, 16, junior, Irvine

"Yes. Women are believed more in sexual harassment and rape cases, and more cases are now appearing of women harassing men." Stacey Brownlee, 16, junior, University

"It seems to me that it would be great if harassment of any kind didn't exist, but it is often blown out of proportion. Why must we either make legislation too conservative or too liberal? We have to compromise so that along with personal freedom we can continue to live in a prosperous nation." Nick Dinger, 15, sophomore, Fountain Valley

"There are laws about sexual harassment, but they give women a lot of power. As long as the law is not abused, it's good, but a girl can really slander a guy by making things up. Girls are almost always believed." Nathan Dunn, 18, senior, Villa Park

"Guys are more afraid to do it now. It hasn't changed for women, though; they still don't like it." Carol Lee, 16, junior, Trabuco Hills

"Adults these days seem to abuse it, and teen-agers take it as a joke. But overall, we're aware of it." Nancy Bui, 16, sophomore, Los Amigos

"I feel there is less now . . . . People are more realistic and less paranoid about the whole concept." Damon Mircheff, 18, senior, Marina

"Boys just don't know the boundaries anymore, and some girls don't even know when they are being harassed. Maybe if people would just open their eyes, they would see what's going on." Kathleen Wood, 16, sophomore, Corona del Mar

"I think attitudes are changing because people are more aware of them and there's more of a tolerance." Anne Catto, 17, junior, Irvine

"It still exists everywhere and always will, but people have become more willing to help those who are harassed." Alex Huong, 17, senior, Fountain Valley

"People are taking it more seriously now that the consequences are harder." Erik Castro, 14, freshman, Sonora

"I think people are more aware of the problem; however, people need to stop the situation before it becomes a problem." Alicia Ritter, 16, sophomore, Rosary

"I think that this whole sexual harassment thing is so blown out of proportion. People, guys especially, can't make any jokes anymore or say anything because anyone could say it's sexual harassment and sue them. I'm not saying that there is no sexual harassment, because there is. When a boy grabs a girl or consistently makes rude comments, that is sexual harassment. I just think that people need to be themselves. Don't be rude and watch what you're saying. And girls, guys will be guys, especially in high school. Just remember that." Jennifer Flicker, 16, junior, Loara

"People are more aware of the issue, so they think before they act." Tiffany Blindt, 18, senior, Marina

"No, people are still disgusted by it." Jackie Jenkins, 14, freshman, Bolsa Grande

"At one time or another, my friends and I have been harassed, but it happens so much without being noticed you can't really count it." Melissa Moshfegh, 16, sophomore, Villa Park

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