Students may exhibit, accept, or tolerate this conforming behavior as to not cause rifts in peer groups.
Developmental causes may also result in sexual harassment among students.
Most sexually harassing behavior is student-on-student. In "The Report Card on Gender Equity", by the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE), it was reported that, of students who have been sexually harassed, 90% were harassed by other students.
(NCWGE, 1997) And in their 2006 report on sexual harassment in higher education, the AAUW reported that 80% of students sexually harassed were targeted by other students.
Less than one-fifth (17%) of those boys who admitted to harassing others say they did so because they wanted a date with the person.
(AAUW, 2006) Other researchers assert that the "I thought it was funny" rationale is a fallacy, and the true reasons align more with that of a need to assert power and induce fear in others—more in line with bullying.
Those who are unprepared to interact with those of the opposite sex, are unable to appropriately read social cues, or try to exhibit sexual interest in another while not understanding appropriate boundaries, may end up engaging in sexually harassing behavior.