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Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors.[1] In some contexts or circumstances, sexual harassment may be illegal. It includes a range of behavior from seemingly mild transgressions and annoyances to actual sexual abuse or sexual assault.[2] Sexual harassment is a form of illegal employment discrimination in many countries, and is a form of abuse (sexual and psychological) and bullying. For many businesses, preventing sexual harassment, and defending employees from sexual harassment charges, have become key goals of legal decision-making. In contrast, many scholars complain that sexual harassment in education remains a "forgotten secret," with educators and administrators refusing to admit the problem exists in their schools, or accept their legal and ethical responsibilities to deal with it (Dziech, 1990).

Contents


Early history of the use of the term

In her book In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (1999), journalist Susan Brownmiller quotes the Cornell activists who in 1975 thought they had coined the term sexual harassment: "Eight of us were sitting in an office ... brainstorming about what we were going to write on posters for our speak-out. We were referring to it as 'sexual intimidation,' 'sexual coercion,' 'sexual exploitation on the job.' None of those names seemed quite right. We wanted something that embraced a whole range of subtle and un-subtle persistent behaviors. Somebody came up with 'harassment.' 'Sexual harassment!' Instantly we agreed. That's what it was." (p. 281). These activists went on to form Working Women's Institute which, along with the Alliance Against Sexual Coercion, founded in 1976 by Freada Klein, Lynn Wehrli, and Elizabeth Cohn-Stuntz, were among the pioneer organizations to bring sexual harassment to public attention in the late 1970s.

The term sexual harassment was used in 1973 by Dr Mary Rowe in a report to the then President and Chancellor of MIT about various forms of gender issues. (See Saturn's Rings, 1973). Rowe has stated that she believes she was not the first to use the term, since sexual harassment was being discussed in women's groups in Massachusetts in the early 1970s, but that MIT may have been the first or one of the first large organizations to discuss the topic (in the MIT Academic Council), and to develop relevant policies and procedures. MIT at the time also recognized the injuries caused by racial harassment and the harassment of women of color which may be both racial and sexual. The President of MIT also stated that harassment (and favoritism) are antithetical to the mission of a university as well as intolerable for individuals.

Harassment situations

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances. Often, but not always, the harasser is in a position of power or authority over the victim (due to differences in age, or social, political, educational or employment relationships). Forms of harassment relationships include:

Varied behaviors

One of the difficulties in understanding sexual harassment is that it involves a range of behavior, and is often difficult for the recipient to describe to themselves, and to others, exactly what they are experiencing. Moreover, behavior and motives vary between individual harassers.

Behavioral classes

Dzeich et al. has divided harassers into two broad classes:

Langelan describes three different classes of harassers.

Types of harassment

There is usually more than one type of harassing behavior present, so a single harasser will often fit more than one category. These are brief summations of each type.

Sexualized environments (aka environmental harassment)

Sexualized environments are environments where obscenities, sexual joking, sexually explicit graffiti, viewing Internet pornography, sexually degrading posters and objects, etc., are common. None of these behaviors or objects may necessarily be directed at anyone in particular or intended as harassment. However, they can create an offensive environment, and one that is consistent with "hostile environment sexual harassment".

Rituals and initiations

Sexual harassment can also occur in group settings as part of rituals or ceremonies, such as when members engage newcomers in abusive or sexually explicit rites as part of hazing or initiation. While such traditions have historically remained in arenas of male bonding or female bonding, such as team sports, fraternities, and sororities, it is becoming increasingly common for girls/women's groups to engage in similar ceremonies.

Retaliation and backlash

Retaliation and backlash against a victim are very common, particularly a complainant. Victims who speak out against sexual harassment are often labeled troublemakers who are on their own power trips, or who are looking for attention. Similar to cases of rape or sexual assault, the victim often becomes the accused, with their appearance, private life, and character likely to fall under intrusive scrutiny and attack.[3] They risk hostility and isolation from colleagues, supervisors, teachers, fellow students, and even friends. They may become the targets of mobbing or relational aggression.[4]

Women are not necessarily sympathetic to female complainants who have been sexually harassed. If the harasser was male, internalized sexism, and/or jealousy over the sexual attention towards the victim, may encourage some women to react with as much hostility towards the complainant as some male colleagues.[5] Fear of being targeted for harassment or retaliation themselves may also cause some women to respond with hostility.[6] For example, when Lois Jenson filed her lawsuit against Eveleth Taconite Co., the women placed a hangman's noose above her workplace, and shunned her both at work and in the community—many of these women later joined her suit.(Bingham et al. 2002) Women may even project hostility onto the victim in order to bond with their male coworkers and build trust.[6]

Retaliation has occurred when a sexual harassment victim suffers a negative action as a result of the harassment. For example, a complainant be given poor evaluations or low grades, have their projects sabotaged, be denied work or academic opportunities, have their work hours cut back, and other actions against them which undermine their productivity, or their ability to advance at work or school. They may be suspended, asked to resign, or be fired from their jobs altogether. Moreover, a professor or employer accused of sexual harassment, or who is the colleague of a perpetrator, can use their power to see that a victim is never hired again, or never accepted to another school. Retaliation can even involve further sexual harassment, and also stalking and cyberstalking of the victim.[5][6]

Of the women who have approached her to share their own experiences of being sexually harassed by their teachers, feminist and writer Naomi Wolf writes,

"I am ashamed of what I tell them: that they should indeed worry about making an accusation because what they fear is likely to come true. Not one of the women I have heard from had an outcome that was not worse for her than silence. One, I recall, was drummed out of the school by peer pressure. Many faced bureaucratic stonewalling. Some women said they lost their academic status as golden girls overnight; grants dried up, letters of recommendation were no longer forthcoming. No one was met with a coherent process that was not weighted against them. Usually, the key decision-makers in the college or university—especially if it was a private university—joined forces to, in effect, collude with the faculty member accused; to protect not him necessarily but the reputation of the university, and to keep information from surfacing in a way that could protect other women. The goal seemed to be not to provide a balanced forum, but damage control."[7]

Another woman who was interviewed by Helen Watson, a sociologist, reported that, "Facing up to the crime and having to deal with it in public is probably worse than suffering in silence. I found it to be a lot worse than the harassment itself." (Watson, 1994)

Effects of sexual harassment and the (often) accompanying retaliation

Effects of sexual harassment can vary depending on the individual, and the severity and duration of the harassment. Often, sexual harassment incidents fall into the category of the "merely annoying." However, many situations can, and do, have life-altering effects particularly when they involve severe/chronic abuses, and/or retaliation against a victim who does not submit to the harassment, or who complains about it openly. Indeed, psychologists and social workers report that severe/chronic sexual harassment can have the same psychological effects as rape or sexual assault. (Koss, 1987) For example, in 1995, Judith Coflin committed suicide after chronic sexual harassment by her bosses and coworkers. (Her family was later awarded 6 million dollars in punitive and compensatory damages.) Backlash and victim-blaming can further aggravate the effects. Moreover, every year, sexual harassment costs hundreds of millions of dollars in lost educational and professional opportunities, mostly for girls and women. (Boland, 2002)

Common effects on the victims

Common professional, academic, financial, and social effects of sexual harassment:

Some of the psychological and health effects that can occur in someone who has been sexually harassed: depression, anxiety and/or panic attacks, sleeplessness and/or nightmares, shame and guilt, difficulty concentrating, headaches, fatigue or loss of motivation, stomach problems, eating disorders (weight loss or gain), alcoholism, feeling betrayed and/or violated, feeling angry or violent towards the perpetrator, feeling powerless or out of control, increased blood pressure, loss of confidence and self esteem, withdrawal and isolation, overall loss of trust in people, traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts or attempts, suicide.[4][8][9][10][11]

Effects of sexual harassment on organizations

The effect of the organization on sexual harassment

Studies show that organizational climate (an organization’s tolerance, policy, procedure etc.) and workplace environment are essential for understanding the conditions in which sexual harassment is likely to occur, and the way its victims will be affected (yet, research on specific policy and procedure and awareness and prevention strategies is lacking).another element which increases the risk for sexual harassment is the job’s gender context (having few women in the close working environment or practicing in a field which is atypical for women)[15].

According to Prof. Orit Kamir, the most effective way to avoid sexual harassment in the work place, and also influence the public’s state of mind, is for the employer to adopt a clear policy prohibiting sexual harassment and to make it very clear to their employees .Many women prefer to make a complaint and to have the matter resolved within the workplace rather than to “air out the dirty laundry” with a public complaint and be seen as a traitor by colleagues, superiors and employers, adds Kamir[16]. See also: Rowe,Mary "People Who Feel Harassed Need a Complaint System with both Formal and Informal Options," in Negotiation Journal, April, 1990, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 161–172., and Rowe,Mary, "Dealing with Harassment: A Systems Approach," in Sexual Harassment: Perspectives, Frontiers, and Response Strategies, Women & Work, Vol. 5, Margaret Stockdale, editor, Sage Publications, 1996, pp. 241–271. Most prefer a pragmatic solution that would stop the harassment and prevent future contact with the harasser rather than turning to the police. More about the difficulty in turning an offence into a legal act can be found in Felstiner & Sarat’s (1981) study[17], which describes three steps a victim (of any dispute) must go through before turning to the justice system: naming – giving the assault a definition, Blaming – understanding who is responsible for the violation of rights and facing them, and finally, claming – turning to the authorities. In sexual offences there is great difficulty for the victims to go through these steps, and the closer the relationship between victim and assailant; the harder it is to take each step.

Evolution of sexual harassment law

United States

Workplace

In the US, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin or religion. The prohibition of sex discrimination covers both females and males. This discrimination occurs when the sex of the worker is made as a condition of employment (i.e. all female waitpersons or male carpenters) or where this is a job requirement that does not mention sex but ends up barring many more persons of one sex than the other from the job (such as height and weight limits).

Barnes v. Train (1974) is commonly viewed as the first sexual harassment case in America, even though the term "sexual harassment" was not used.[18] In 1976, Williams v. Saxbe established sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination when sexual advances by a male supervisor towards a female employee, if proven, would be deemed an artificial barrier to employment placed before one gender and not another. In 1980 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued regulations defining sexual harassment and stating it was a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the 1986 case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, the Supreme Court first recognized "sexual harassment" as a violation of Title VII, established the standards for analyzing whether the conduct was welcome and levels of employer liability, and that speech or conduct in itself can create a "hostile environment." The Civil Rights Act of 1991 added provisions to Title VII protections including expanding the rights of women to sue and collect compensatory and punitive damages for sexual discrimination or harassment, and the case of Ellison v. Brady resulted in rejecting the reasonable person standard in favor of the "reasonable woman standard" which allowed for cases to be analyzed from the perspective of the complainant and not the defendant. Also in 1991, Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. became the first sexual harassment case to be given class action status, paving the way for others. Seven years later, in 1998, this case would establish new precedents for setting limits on the "discovery" process in sexual harassment cases, and allowing psychological injuries from the litigation process to be included in assessing damages awards. In the same year, the courts concluded in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, Florida, and Burlington v. Ellerth, that employers are liable for harassment by their employees. Moreover, Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services set the precedent for same-sex harassment, and sexual harassment without motivation of "sexual desire", stating that any discrimination based on sex is actionable so long as it places the victim in an objectively disadvantageous working condition, regardless of the gender of either the victim, or the harasser.

In the 2006 case of Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White, the standard for retaliation against a sexual harassment complainant was revised to include any adverse employment decision or treatment that would be likely to dissuade a "reasonable worker" from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.

During 2007 alone, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and related state agencies received 12,510 new charges of sexual harassment on the job [19]

Education

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (United States) states "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

In Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools (1992), the U.S. Supreme Court held that private citizens could collect damage awards when teachers sexually harassed their students. In Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser (1986) the courts ruled that schools have the power to discipline students if they use "obscene, profane language or gestures" which could be viewed as substantially interfering with the educational process, and inconsistent with the "fundamental values of public school education." Under regulations issued in 1997 by the U.S. Department of Education, which administers Title IX, school districts should be held responsible for harassment by educators if the harasser "was aided in carrying out the sexual harassment of students by his or her position of authority with the institution."[20] In Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, and Murrell v. School Dist. No. 1, 1999, schools were assigned liability for peer-to-peer sexual harassment if the plaintiff sufficiently demonstrated that the administration's response shows "deliberate indifference" to "actual knowledge" of discrimination.

Evolution of sexual harassment law in other jurisdictions

In India, the case of Vishaka Vs. State of Rajasthan in 1997 has been credited with establishing sexual harassment as illegal.[21] In Israel, the 1988 Equal Employment Opportunity Law made it a crime for an employer to retaliate against an employee who had rejected sexual advances, but it wasn't until 1998 that the Israeli Sexual Harassment Law made such behavior illegal. (Kamir, 2005)

In May 2002, the European Union Council and Parliament amended a 1976 Council Directive on the equal treatment of men and women in employment to prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, naming it a form of sex discrimination and violation of dignity. This Directive required all Member States of the European Union to adopt laws on sexual harassment, or amend existing laws to comply with the Directive by October 2005.[22]

In 2005, China added new provisions to the Law on Women's Right Protection to include sexual harassment.[23] In 2006 "The Shanghai Supplement" was drafted to help further define sexual harassment in China.[24]

Varied legal guidelines and definitions

The United Nations General Recommendation 19 to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women defines sexual harassment of women to include:

"such unwelcome sexually determined behavior as physical contact and advances, sexually colored remarks, showing pornography and sexual demands, whether by words or actions. Such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem; it is discriminatory when the woman has reasonable ground to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment, including recruitment or promotion, or when it creates a hostile working environment."

While such conduct can be harassment of women by men, many laws around the world which prohibit sexual harassment are more enlightened and recognize that both men and women may be harassers or victims of sexual harassment. It is important to note, most claims of sexual harassment are made by women.

There are many similarities, and also important differences in laws and definitions used around the world. After covering one country in some detail (the United States), approaches in other countries are covered alphabetically.

United States

There are a number of legal options for a complainant in the U.S.: mediation, filing with the EEOC or filing a claim under a state Fair Employment Practices (FEP) statute (both are for workplace sexual harassment), filing a common law tort, etc.[25] Not all sexual harassment will be considered severe enough to form the basis for a legal claim. However, most often there are several types of harassing behaviors present, and there is no minimum level for harassing conduct under the law.(Boland, 2002) Many more experienced sexual harassment than have a solid legal case against the accused. Because of this, and the common preference for settling, few cases ever make it to federal court.[25] The section below describes the legal definitions that have been created for sexual harassment in the workplace. Similar definitions have been created for academic environments in the U.S. Department of Education Sexual Harassment Guidance.

EEOC definition

In 1980 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission produced a set of guidelines for defining and enforcing Title VII (in 1984 it was expanded to include educational institutions). The EEOC defines sexual harassment as:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1. Submission to such conduct was made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment,

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual was used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or

3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

1. and 2. are called "quid pro quo" (Latin for "this for that" or "something for something"). They are essentially "sexual bribery", or promising of benefits, and "sexual coercion".

Type 3. known as "hostile work environment," is by far the most common form. This form is less clear cut and is more subjective.[5]

Note: a workplace harassment complainant must file with the EEOC and receive a "right to sue" clearance, before they can file a lawsuit against a company in federal court. (Boland, 2002)

Quid pro quo sexual harassment

Quid pro quo means "this for that". In the workplace, this occurs when a job benefit is directly tied to an employee submitting to unwelcome sexual advances. For example, a supervisor promises an employee a raise if he or she will go out on a date with him or her, or tells an employee he or she will be fired if he or she doesn't sleep with him or her.[26] Quid pro quo harassment also occurs when an employee makes an evaluative decision, or provides or withholds professional opportunities based on another employee's submission to verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Quid pro quo harassment is equally unlawful whether the victim resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits and thus avoids the threatened harm.[27]

Hostile environment sexual harassment

This occurs when an employee is subjected to comments of a sexual nature, unwelcome physical contact, or offensive sexual materials as a regular part of the work environment. For the most part, a single isolated incident will not be enough to prove hostile environment harassment unless it involves extremely outrageous and egregious conduct. The courts will try to decide whether the conduct is both "serious" and "frequent." Supervisors, managers, co-workers and even customers can be responsible for creating a hostile environment.[28] Probably the most famous hostile environment sexual harassment case to date is Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. which inspired the movie North Country. (See Hostile environment sexual harassment)

The line between "quid pro quo" and "hostile environment" harassment is not always clear and the two forms of harassment often occur together. For example, an employee's job conditions are affected when a sexually hostile work environment results in a constructive discharge. At the same time, a supervisor who makes sexual advances toward a subordinate employee may communicate an implicit threat to retaliate against her if she does not comply.[29]

"Hostile environment" harassment may acquire characteristics of "quid pro quo" harassment if the offending supervisor abuses his authority over employment decisions to force the victim to endure or participate in the sexual conduct. Sexual harassment may culminate in a retaliatory discharge if a victim tells the harasser or her employer she will no longer submit to the harassment, and is then fired in retaliation for this protest. Under these circumstances it would be appropriate to conclude that both harassment and retaliation in violation of section 704(a) of Title VII have occurred."
Retaliation

Retaliation has occurred when an employee suffers a negative action after he or she has made a report of sexual harassment, file a grievance, assist someone else with a complaint, or participate in discrimination prevention activities. Negative actions can include being fired, demotion, suspension, denial of promotion, poor evaluation, unfavorable job re-assignment—any adverse employment decision or treatment that would be likely to dissuade a "reasonable worker" from making or supporting a charge of discrimination. (See Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White) Retaliation is as illegal as the sexual harassment itself, but also as difficult to prove. Also, retaliation is illegal even if the original charge of sexual harassment was not proven.

Australia

The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 defines sexual harassment as " ... unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated."

Czech Republic

Undesirable behavior of a sexual nature at the workplace if such conduct is unwelcome, unsuitable or insulting, or if it can be justifiably perceived by the party concerned as a condition for decisions affecting the exercise of rights and obligations ensuring from labor relations.[30]

Denmark

Sexual harassment is defined as, when any verbal, non-verbal or physical action is used to change a victim's sexual status against the will of the victim and resulting in the victim feeling inferior or hurting the victim's dignity. Man and woman are looked upon as equal, and any action trying to change the balance in status with the differences in sex as a tool, is also sexual harassment. In the workplace, jokes, remarks, etc., are only deemed discriminatory if the employer has stated so in their written policy. Women are viewed as being responsible for confronting harassment themselves, such as by slapping the harasser in the face. Law number 1385 of December 21, 2005 regulates this area.[31]

France

Article 222-33 of the French Criminal Code describes sexual harassment as, "The fact of harassing anyone using orders, threats or constraint, in order to obtain favors of a sexual nature, by a person abusing the authority that functions confer on him..." This means the harasser can only be someone with authority on the harassed (basically, there can't be sexual harassment between coworkers of the same rank). However, moral harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to repeated acts (one is not enough) the aim or effect of which may result in a degradation (deterioration) of his conditions of employment that might undermine his rights and his dignity, affect his physical or mental health or jeopardize his professional future. Sexual as well as the moral harassment is recognized by the law.[32]

India

Sexual harassment in India (and Pakistan)is termed "Eve teasing" and is described as: unwelcome sexual gesture or behaviour whether directly or indirectly as sexually coloured remarks; physical contact and advances; showing pornography; a demand or request for sexual favours; any other unwelcome physical, verbal/non-verbal conduct being sexual in nature. The critical factor is the unwelcomeness of the behaviour, thereby making the impact of such actions on the recipient more relevant rather than intent of the perpetrator.[21]

Israel

The 1998 Israeli Sexual Harassment Law interprets sexual harassment broadly, and prohibits the behavior as a discriminatory practice, a restriction of liberty, an offence to human dignity, a violation of every person's right to elementary respect, and an infringement of the right to privacy. Additionally, the law prohibits intimidation or retaliation that accommodates sexual harassment. Intimidation or retaliation thus related to sexual harassment are defined by the law as "prejudicial treatment". (Kamir, 2005)

Pakistan

Pakistan has adopted a Code of Conduct for Gender Justice in the Workplace that will deal with cases of sexual harassment. The Alliance Against Sexual Harassment (AASH) announced they would be working with the committee to establish guidelines for the proceedings. AASH defines sexual harassment much the same as it is defined in the U.S. and other cultures.[33]

Philippines

The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 was enacted "primarily to protect and respect the dignity of workers, employees, and applicants for employment as well as students in educational institutions or training centers. This law, consisting of ten (10) sections, provides for a clear definition of work, education or training-related sexual harassment and specifies the acts constituting sexual harassment. It likewise provides for the duties and liabilities of the employer in cases of sexual harassment, and sets penalties for violations of its provisions. It is to be noted that a victim of sexual harassment is not barred from filing a separate and independent action for damages and other relief aside from filing the charge for sexual harassment." [34]

Poland

There is no special provision in the employment law that provides for moral or sexual harassment; however it is commonly accepted by the jurisprudence, that sexual harassment occurs when the employee is subjected to acts of another person in order to obtain favours of a sexual nature. Moral harassment occurs when en employee is subjected to acts which may result in a deterioration of his conditions of employment or undermine his rights and dignity as well as affect his physical or moral health. These definitions are not legal ones, but definitions accepted by the jurisprudence.[30]

Russia

In the Criminal Code, Russian Federation, (CC RF), there exists a law which prohibits utilization of an office position and material dependence for coercion of sexual interactions (Article 118, current CC RF). However, according to the Moscow Center for Gender Studies, in practice, the courts do not examine these issues.[35]

United Kingdom

The Discrimination Act of 1975, was modified to establish sexual harassment as a form of discrimination in 1986.[36] It states that harassment occurs where there is unwanted conduct on the ground of a person's sex or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature and that conduct has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. If an employer treats someone less favourably because they have rejected, or submitted to, either form of harassment described above, this is also harassment.[37]

Debates

Though the phrase "sexual harassment" is generally acknowledged, by everyone, to include clearly damaging and morally deplorable behavior, its boundaries can be broad and controversial. Accordingly, misunderstandings can abound. Moreover, sexual harassment law has been highly criticized by experts, such as Alan Dershowitz and Eugene Volokh, for imposing on the right to free speech.[38] Some feminist groups criticize sexual harassment policy as helping maintain archaic stereotypes of women as "delicate, asexual creatures" who require special protection.[39] Camille Paglia, for example says that young girls can end up acting in such ways as to make sexual harassment easier, such that for example, by acting "nice" they can become a target. Paglia commented in an interview with Playboy, "Realize the degree to which your niceness may invoke people to say lewd and pornographic things to you--sometimes to violate your niceness. The more you blush, the more people want to do it."[40]

Sexual harassment policy and legislation have been criticized as attempts to "regulate romance" which goes against human urges.[41] Other critics assert that sexual harassment is a very serious problem, but current views focus too heavily on sexuality rather than on the type of conduct that undermines the ability of women or men to work together effectively. Viki Shultz, a law professor at Yale University comments, "Many of the most prevalent forms of harassment are designed to maintain work-particularly the more highly rewarded lines of work-as bastions of male competence and authority."[42] Feminist Jane Gallop sees this evolution of the definition of sexual harassment as coming from a "split" between what she calls "power feminists" who are pro-sex (like herself) and what she calls "victim feminists," who are not. She argues that the split has helped lead to a perversion of the definition of sexual harassment, which used to be about sexism but has come to be about anything that's sexual. (Gallop, 1997)

There is also concern over abuses of sexual harassment policy, and employers and administrators using accusations as a way of expelling employees they want to eliminate for other reasons. (Westhues, 1998).

There is also discussion of whether some recent trends towards more revealing clothing and permissive habits have created a more sexualized general environment, in which some forms of communication are unfairly labeled harassment, but are simply a reaction to greater sexualization in everyday environments.[43]

There are many debates about how organizations should deal with sexual harassment. Some observers feel strongly that organizations should be held to a zero tolerance standard of "Must report - must investigate - must punish."

Others write that those who feel harassed should in most circumstances have a choice of options. See "Workplace Justice, Zero Tolerance, and Zero Barriers," 2001, by Mary Rowe and Corinne Bendersky, in Negotiations and Change, From the Workplace to Society, Thomas Kochan and Richard Locke (editors), Cornell University Press, 2002; Mary Rowe in "Dealing with Harassment: A Systems Approach," in Sexual Harassment: Perspectives, Frontiers, and Response Strategies, Women & Work, Vol. 5, Margaret Stockdale, editor, Sage Publications, 1996, pp. 241–271; Mary Rowe, "People Who Feel Harassed Need a Complaint System with both Formal and Informal Options," in Negotiation Journal, April, 1990, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 161–172. Sexual harassment, by definition, is unwanted and not to be tolerated but there often are a number of effective ways for offended and injured people to deal with harassment.

See also

References

For further reading

See also: SIECUS annotated bibliography of books on sexual harassment and sexual violence

Sexual harassment in media and literature

Notes

  1. Dziech et al. 1990, Boland 2002
  2. Sexual harassment too often leads to humiliation for victims
  3. a b Effects of Sexual Harassment
  4. a b c Dealing With Sexual Harassment
  5. a b c Sexual harassment retaliation, backlash, and victim blaming
  6. The Silent Treatment
  7. Common Effects of Sexual Harassment
  8. Sexual Harassment: Myths and Realities
  9. a b StopVAW: Effects of Sexual Harassment
  10. a b Psychosocial and Organizational Factors: Sexual Harassment
  11. Sexual harassment bad for victims and for business June 22, 2005
  12. Sexual harassment: Poisoning profit prospects August 10, 2005
  13. For Help with the Handling of Harassment
  14. CHELSEA R. WILLNESS & PIERS STEEL & KIBEOM LEE, A META-ANALYSIS OF THE ANTECEDENTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT , PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY 2007
  15. קמיר אורית, "החוק הישראלי למניעת הטרדה מינית- איפה אנחנו במלואת לו עשור?
  16. W. L. Felstiner, R. L. Abel & A. Sarat, “The Emergence and Transformation of Dispute: Naming, blaming, Claiming…”, 15 Law & Society Rev. (1980-1981)
  17. The Sad Evolution of Sexual Harassment October 27, 2004
  18. Sexual Harassment Law: A Brief IntroductionKMB Legal
  19. Sexual Harassment Guidance
  20. a b Sexual Harassment and Rape Laws in India
  21. Domestic Legal Framework November 1, 2003
  22. China to outlaw sexual harassment
  23. China Daily
  24. a b What to Do if You or Someone You Know is Sexually Harassed
  25. The Law & Your Job: What is quid pro quo harassment?
  26. Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
  27. The Law & Your Job: What is hostile environment harassment?
  28. Policy Guidance on Current Issues of Sexual Harassment 03/19/90
  29. a b Employment Law in Each Country
  30. Denmark Law
  31. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in France and in the United States Spring 1997
  32. AASHA - (Pakistan) Alliance Against Sexual Harassment
  33. Full text of the Philippine Anti Sexual Harassment Law
  34. Sexual Harassment in Russian Workplaces - Sexual Harassment Support Forum
  35. Strathclyde Regional Council v Porcelli [1986] IRLR 134 Court of Session
  36. Sexual Harassment: what the law says
  37. Freedom of Speech vs. Workplace Harassment Law
  38. Feminism and Free Speech
  39. Playboy interview, Camille Paglia May 1995
  40. Sexual Harassment: The employer's role in prevention
  41. Love, Lust, and the Law Sexual Harassment in the Academy
  42. 'Save the males': Ho culture lights fuses, but confuses, By KATHLEEN PARKER, NY Daily News, June 30th 2008. Based on "Save the Males" by Kathleen Parker, Copyright 2008, Random House, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group.

External links

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