Sexual Harassment of Women: 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 Sexual harassment refers to two types of behaviors 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.
It concludes with common characteristics of environments where sexual harassment is more likely to occur. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment was first recognized in cases in which women lost their jobs because they rejected sexual overtures from their employers e. Soon it was recognized in employment law that pervasive sexist behavior from coworkers can create odious conditions of employment—what became known as a hostile work environment —and also constitute illegal discrimination Farley ; MacKinnon ; Williams v.
These two basic forms of sexual harassment, quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment, were summarized in guidelines issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in USEEOC Hostile work or educational environments can be created by behaviors such as addressing women in crude or objectifying terms, posting pornographic images in the office, and by making demeaning or derogatory statements about women, such as telling anti-female jokes.
Hostile environment harassment also encompasses unwanted sexual overtures such as exposing one's genitals, stroking and kissing someone, and pressuring a person for dates even if no quid pro quo is involved Bundy v.
Jackson ; 3 Meritor Savings Bank v. An important distinction between quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment is that the former usually involves a one-on-one relationship in which the perpetrator has control of employment- or educational-related rewards or punishments over the target. In contrast, the latter can involve many perpetrators and many targets. In the hostile environment form of sexual harassment, coworkers often exhibit a pattern of hostile sexist behavior toward multiple targets over an Sexual harassment refers to two types of behaviors period of time Holland and Cortina For hostile sex-related or gender-related behavior to be considered illegal sexual harassment, it must be pervasive or severe enough to be judged as having had a negative impact upon the work or educational environment.
Therefore, isolated or single instances of such behavior typically qualify only when they are judged to be sufficiently severe. Legal scholars and judges continue to use the two subtype definitions of quid pro quo and hostile environment to define sexual harassment.
Illegal sexual harassment falls under the umbrella of a more comprehensive category, discriminatory behavior. Illegal discrimination can occur on the basis of any legally protected category: Regarding sexual harassment, the focus of this report, this includes gender harassmenta term designed to emphasize that harmful or illegal sexual harassment does not have to be about sexual activity USEEOC n. Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination because it is harmful and it is based on gender—it is not necessarily motivated by sexual desire nor does it need to involve sexual activity.
Both legal doctrine and social science research recognize gender as encompassing both one's biological sex and gender-based stereotypes and expectations, such as heterosexuality and proper performance of gender roles. Sexual harassment in the form of gender harassment can be based on the violation of cultural gender stereotypes. While a woman may be gender harassed for taking a job traditionally held by a man or in a traditionally male field. Gender harassment in such a situation might consist of actions to sabotage the woman's tools, machinery, or equipment, or telling the woman she is not smart enough for scientific work.
Subsequent sections of this report discuss gender harassment in greater detail. Psychologists who study gender-related behavior have developed more nuanced terms to describe sexual harassment in order to more precisely measure and account for the behaviors that constitute sexual harassment and to describe how targets experience those behaviors. A three-part classification system divides sexual harassment into distinct but related categories: While sexual coercion is by definition quid pro quo sexual harassment, more Sexual coercion entails sexual advances, and makes the conditions of employment or education, for students contingent upon sexual cooperation.
Unwanted sexual attention also entails sexual advances, but it does not add professional rewards or threats to force compliance. In this category are expressions of romantic or sexual interest that are unwelcome, unreciprocated, and offensive to the target; examples include unwanted touching, hugging, stroking, and persistent requests for dates or sexual behavior despite discouragement, and can include assault Cortina, Koss, and Cook ; Fitzgerald, Gelfand, and Drasgow ; Fitzgerald, Swan, and Magley Gender harassment is by far the most common type of sexual harassment.
Gender harassment is further defined as two types: Examples of the sexist hostility form of gender harassment for women include demeaning jokes or comments about women, comments that women do not belong in leadership positions or are not smart enough to succeed in a scientific career, and sabotaging women.