Attributions of Kenyan Public University Students’ Dressing Styles and Implications for Sexual Harassment

  • Gladys Otieno Department of Art and Design, Maseno University, P. O Box 333-40105, Maseno, Kenya
  • Keren Mburugu Department of Fashion Design and Marketing, Kenyatta University, P. O. Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Susan Abong,o Department of Art and Design, Maseno University, P. O Box 333-40105, Maseno, Kenya
Keywords: Attribution, Dressing Style, Sexual Harassment


Victims of sexual harassment are often blamed for being responsible for the harassment they receive. The clothes worn may send different messages to the people that the wearer interacts with. To investigate this, the study sought to examine the attributions made on students’ dressing styles and whether these were found provocative or not. A descriptive survey design was used in this study. The study areas were University of Nairobi, Egerton University, Moi University, Technical University of Mombasa, Maseno and Karatina Universities. Multiple sampling procedures were used to select 566 students who participated in the study. Data was collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions and observation checklists. Results show that sexual harassment existed in the various institutions. The results point that sexual harassment existed within the learning institutions and the respondents were aware of what sexual harassment is with the main perpetrators being fellow students. Miniskirts, high slitted skirts and skin tight trousers had the highest negative attributes assigned to them with a mean of -0.64, -0.63 and -0.61 respectively.


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