Search Search. For more information about this temporary freeze, click here. This guide is not legal advice. Laws and legal rules frequently change and can be interpreted in different ways, so Equal Rights Advocates cannot guarantee that all of the information in this Guide is accurate as it applies to your situation. Workplace sexual harassment takes many different forms. It can come from a coworker, a supervisor, or a customer or client, and ranges from unwanted touching, inappropriate comments or jokes, or someone promising you a promotion in exchange for sexual favors.
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Sexual harassment is more prevalent for women supervisors than for women employees. This pattern holds in the three countries we studied—the United States, Japan, and Sweden—where women supervisors are between 30 to percent more likely to have been sexually harassed in the last twelve months. Among supervisors, the risk is larger in lower- and mid-level positions of leadership and when subordinates are mostly male. We also find that harassment of women supervisors happens despite their greater likelihood of taking action against the abuser, and that supervisors face more professional and social retaliation after their harassment experience. We conclude that sexual harassment is a workplace hazard that raises the costs for women to pursue leadership ambitions and, in turn, reinforces gender gaps in income, status, and voice. Access the Web Appendix here. She previously served as a Research Assistant in the Department of Political Science at Yale University while completing a Master of Arts in international and development economics. Picture an incident of sexual harassment.
‘Worse things happen’
While sexual harassment has been a pervasive problem for women throughout history, only in the past three decades have feminist litigators won definition of sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination and have women come forward in droves to demand remedies and institutional change. In the United States, sexual harassment in employment, housing harassment by a landlord or building manager , or academia is illegal. Women around the world are beginning to tell their stories and expose the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in their societies. A International Labor Organization survey of 23 countries revealed what women already know: that sexual harassment is a major problem for women all over the world. Sexual harassment affects women's mental and physical health as well as their social and economic status. The level of tolerance for sexual harassment varies from culture to culture. Some of the most recognized forms of sexual harassment are: Direct sexual advances or propositions, including higher-ranked employees asking for sexual favors. Intimidating or excluding women employees to jeopardize their employment status. Creating a hostile workplace for women by using sexist jokes, remarks, or pinning up sexually explicit or pornographic photos. Sexual harassment is not mutual and is unwelcome.
Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. This chapter reviews the information gathered through decades of sexual harassment research. It provides definitions of key terms that will be used throughout the report, establishing a common framework from the research literature and the law for discussing these issues. In reviewing what sexual harassment research has learned over time, the chapter also examines the research methods for studying sexual harassment and the appropriate methods for conducting this research in a reliable way. The chapter provides information on the prevalence of sexual harassment and common characteristics of how sexual harassment is perpetrated and experienced across lines of industry, occupation, and social class.