Sociological Explanation of Sexual Harassment: A Case Study of the Disabled Women in Mazandaran Province

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Sociology, Islamic Azad University, Babol Branch, Mazandaran


The study of sexual harassment of disabled women is one of the topics that have so far received little empirical attention. Therefore, the present study has been conducted to investigate the social factors bringing about disabled women’s sexual harassment in Mazandaran province. The theoretical framework of the research was based on the theory of routine activities and the theory of lifestyle. It was mainly aimed at investigating the causal relationship between disabled women's sexual harassment and the variables of suitable targets, the presence of a powerful protector, and lifestyle. The adopted research method was causal and a researcher-made questionnaire was used for data collection and the validity of the theoretical construct was used for determining the validity of the indicators. The research population consisted of all the women and girls with disabilities in Mazandaran province. According to the cultural differences and geographical location of Mazandaran, it was divided into four points namely Sari, Babol, Behshahr, and Noor and a simple cluster random sampling method was used to determine the sample size. A total of 9417 women with disabilities living in these cities were selected as the statistical population. The sample size according to the sampling error at 95% confidence level included 369 people from the statistical population. Since there is always the possibility of some questionnaires having been distorted by the respondents, 400 questionnaires were distributed among the respondents, and after discarding the distorted ones, 343 questionnaires were finally analyzed. On the basis of the research hypotheses, it seems that there is a relationship between disabled women’sverbal sexual harassment and the target vulnerability, the presence of a powerful protector, and their lifestyle. The results of inferential statistics indicated that the lifestyle with a beta value of 0.489 and a positive and direct influence had the greatest effect on the respondents’ verbal sexual harassment The second variable in terms of the influence was the suitable target variable with a beta value of 0.170 and a positive and direct effect on the respondents’ verbal sexual harassment. However, the presence of a powerful protector with a beta value of 0.101 and a significance level of 0.093 did not have a significant effect on the respondents’ verbal sexual harassment. The findings were consistent with the theoretical approaches to routine activities and lifestyle.


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