Glossary of Title IX Terms

Sexual Harassment

(from Institutional Policies: Harassment including Sexual Harassment)

Sexual Harassment is a form of gender (sex) discrimination. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and or other verbal or written or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment occurs when (1) submission to sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic progress, (2) submission to or rejection of sexual conduct influences employment or academic decisions (3) sexual conduct or communication interferes with an individual’s work performance or academic performance, or (4) sexual conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault: any unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (But, be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape.)

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence (SV) is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will. SV encompasses a range of offenses, including a completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape), an attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment). These four types are defined in more detail below. All types involve victims who do not consent, or who are unable to consent or refuse to allow the act.

Reference -- Basile KC, Saltzman LE. Sexual violence surveillance: uniform definitions and recommended data elements version 1.0. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2002. Available from the CDC

Gender or Sexual Discrimination

Gender discrimination, also known as sexual discrimination, is any action that specifically denies opportunities, privileges, or rewards to a person (or a group) because of gender. The practice of letting a person's gender become a factor when deciding who receives a job or a promotion, is gender discrimination. When gender is a factor in other decisions about employment opportunities or benefits, that too is gender discrimination.