Shakeshaft (2003) found that 9.6 percent of students in a national survey reported experiencing educator sexual abuse (of contact and non-contact types) at some point in their previous k-12 school years. Data suggest more female perpetrators (42.8% compared to 57.2% male) than is commonly assumed (Educator Sexual Misconduct, 2004). The same report also summarizes evidence that 28.3% of this sexual abuse is same-sex abuse (15.2% male-male and 13.1% female-female). Further illuminating the issue of sexual abuse in schools, the table below summarizes Shakeshaft's findings of rates of offense by professional position.
Percent of Student Targets.pdf
The precise wording of questions matters in gathering accurate data about the occurrence of sexual abuse: the reason being that popular definitions of sexual abuse often don't account for the range of experiences of sexual abuse. The rates of sexual abuse determined by research studies and reports are generally understood to be underestimates, given that it's difficult to gather complete data on the issue.
In order to report having experienced sexual abuse, a child has to know/understand/remember that they experienced it, has to feel safe enough to report it, the survey questions have to be age-appropriate, and perhaps, most importantly, the questions have to be descriptively worded in such a way that the child can say "yes I was touched this way" rather than having to say "yes I was sexually molested". For this reason, the data below on trends and rates must be viewed critically. For example, males might have a lower reported rate of experiences of sexual abuse not because they experience sexual abuse at a lower rate, but because it's generally less safe, less normalized, and more stigmatized for males to report being sexually abused.