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Encyclopedia > Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is harassment or unwelcome attention of a sexual nature. It includes a range of behavior from mild transgressions and annoyances to serious abuses, which can even involve forced sexual activity. (Dziech et al 1990, Boland 2002) Sexual harassment is considered a form of illegal discrimination in many countries, and is a form of abuse (sexual and psychological) and bullying. Harassment refers to a wide spectrum of offensive behavior. ... Human sexuality is the expression of sexual feelings. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Affirmative action in the United States Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity... Abuser redirects here. ... Bad Touch redirects here. ... Psychological abuse refers to the humiliation or intimidation of another person, but is also used to refer to the long-term effects of emotional shock. ... A very common image in many schools around the world. ...

It has been suggested that the term "sexual harassment" was coined in 1974 at Cornell University, (Patai, pp. 17-19), however, it was the United States Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas, and Anita Hill's testimony, that brought the issue to national attention in the U.S. For many businesses, preventing sexual harassment, and defending its managerial 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) The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American jurist and has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. ... For other persons with this name, see Anita Hill (disambiguation). ... Sexual harassment in education is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities. ...



Sexual harassment in the workplace

In her book In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (1999), journalist Susan Brownmiller quotes the Cornell activists who in 1975 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).

Approximately 15,000 sexual harassment cases are brought to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each year. Media and government surveys estimate the percentage of women being sexually harassed in the U.S. workplace at 40% to 60%. The European Women's Lobby reports that between 40 and 50 % of female employees have experienced some form of sexual harassment or unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace.[1] While the majority of sexual harassment complaints come from women, the number of complaints filed by men is rapidly increasing. In 2004, over 15% of EEOC complaints were filed by men with 11% of claims involving men filing against female supervisors.[2][3] A 2006 government study in the United Kingdom revealed that 2 out of 5 sexual harassment victims are male, with 8% percent of all sexual harassment complaints to the Equal Opportunities Commission (Britain's EEOC), coming from men.[4] A 2007 study in Hong Kong reported that one third of sexual harassment victims are males being targeted by female supervisors.[5] 'It affects both women and men, causing stress, health problems and financial penalties when they leave their jobs to avoid it,' said Jenny Watson, chair of the EOC.[4] The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is a United States federal agency tasked with ending employment discrimination in the United States. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is a independent non-departmental public body, (NDPB) or quango, in the United Kingdom. ...

Sexual harassment in education

A 2002 study of students in the 8th through the 11th grade by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) revealed that 83% of girls have been sexually harassed, and 78% of boys have been sexually harassed. The American Association of College Women states that sexual harassment starts as early as preschool. [6]In their 2006 study on sexual harassment at colleges and universities, the AAUW reported that 62% of female college students and 61% of male college students report having been sexually harassed at their university, with 80% of the reported harassment being peer-to-peer. 51% of male college students admit to sexually harassing someone in college, with 22% admitting to harassing someone often or occasionally. 31% percent of female college students admitted to harassing someone in college.[7] In a 2000 national survey conducted for the AAUW, it was reported that roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse or harassment by a public school employee, such as a teacher or coach, between 1991 and 2000. In a major 2004 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 10 percent of U.S. public school students were shown to have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees.[8] In their 2002 study, the AAUW reported that 38% percent of the students were sexually harassed by teachers or school employees. Sexual harassment in education is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Sexual harassment in education is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities. ...

However, it is important to acknowledge that statistics do not give a complete picture of the pervasiveness of the problem as most sexual harassment situations go unreported. (Boland 2002, Dzeich 1990)

Range of behavior and circumstances

Varied circumstances

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances:

  • The harasser can be anyone, such as a supervisor, a client, a co-worker, a teacher or professor, a student, a friend, or a stranger.
  • The victim does not have to be the person directly harassed but can be anyone who finds the behavior offensive and is affected by it.
  • While adverse effects on the victim are common, this does not have to be the case for the behavior to be unlawful.
  • The victim can be male or female. The harasser can be male or female.
  • The harasser does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser may be completely unaware that his or her behavior is offensive or constitutes sexual harassment or may be completely unaware that his or her actions could be unlawful.

(Adapted from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)[3]

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 4(Dzeich et al 1990) has divided harassers into two broad classes: public and private. Public harassers are flagrant in their seductive or sexist attitudes towards colleagues, subordinates, students, etc. Private harassers carefully cultivate a restrained and respectable image on the surface, but when alone with their target, their demeanor changes completely.

Langelan describes three different classes of harassers. First there is the predatory harasser who gets sexual thrills from humiliating others. This harasser may become involved in sexual extortion, and may frequently harass just to see how targets respond--those who don't resist may even become targets for rape. Next, there is the dominance harasser, the most common type, who engages in harassing behaviour as an ego boost. Third are strategic or territorial harassers, who seek to maintain privilege in jobs or physical locations, for example a man's harassing female employees in a predominantly male occupation. (Langelan, 1993)

Attorney Mary Jo McGrath describes "The Winner" as a common profile that confuses harassment victims and others in the community because they do not seem like the type who would need to abuse anyone. An adult male harasser is often middle aged, married with children, a churchgoer, and someone who is highly respected in the community. A teacher who sexually harasses students may have been named "Teacher of the Year" or be Chair of their department. A young harasser may be captain of the football team, an honor student sure to attend an Ivy League school, or some other young person who thinks they have everything going for him or her (and so does everyone else). McGrath writes that sexual harassment and abuse "are acts of violence and domination, not sensuality and flirtation. These acts are calculated to dominate and control, not enhance the enjoyment and safety of the targeted person ... The violator may be very high functioning in all other areas of his or her life, but is driven within this realm to act out needs inappropriately."[9]

Brian Martin, an Australian associate professor of Science, Technology and Society writes "Most harassers don't try to justify their behaviour; they don't think about it. If asked, they may say they are just having fun and don't cause any harm. A few, though, consciously seek to humiliate their victims."[10]

Types of harassment

The list below is based on categories defined by Dzeich (Dzeich et al,1990) and Truida Prekel, a South African management consultant.[11] There is usually more than one type of harassing behavior present (Boland 2002), so a single harasser will often fit more than one category. These are brief summations of each type. For a more in-depth discussion on patterns and types of harassment, see Sexual Harassers (Please note, these are not "legal" definitions; burdens of proof must comply with the guidelines described by the government.)

Power-player Legally termed "quid pro quo" harassment, the harasser insists on sexual favors in exchange for benefits they can dispense because of their position in the hierarchy: getting or keeping a job, favorable grades, recommendations, credentials, projects, promotion, orders, and other types of opportunities. Quid pro quo (Latin for something for something [1]) indicates a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. ...

Mother/Father Figure (a.k.a. The Counselor-Helper) This harasser will try to create a mentor-like relationship with their target, all the while masking their sexual intentions with pretenses towards personal, professional, or academic attention. This is a common method of teachers who sexually harass students. (For an example, see Naomi Wolf's article, The Silent Treatment.) Sexual harassment in education is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities. ... Image needed Naomi Wolf (born November 12, 1962) is an American author, political consultant, and public intellectual. ...

One-of-the-Gang Often motivated by bravado or competition, or because the harasser(s) think it is funny (AAUW 2006), One-of-the-gang harassment occurs when groups of men or women embarrass others with lewd comments, physical evaluations, or other unwanted sexual attention. Harassers may act individually in order to belong or impress the others, or groups may gang up on a particular target. An extreme example is Tailhook '91 during which participants sexually abused seven men and 83 women as part of a three-day aviator convention.[12] The Tailhook Association is a US based, fraternal, non-profit organization, supporting the interests of aircraft carrier aviation. ...

Third Party sexual harassment describes sexual harassment of employees or peers who are not themselves the target of the harassment, this includes Groping. Third-party sexual harassment may be either quid pro quo or hostile environment. Men and women may bring such claims.

Serial Harasser This type carefully builds up an image so that people would find it hard to believe they would do anyone any harm. They plan their approach carefully, and strike in private so that it is their word against that of the victim.

Groper Whenever the opportunity presents itself, this harasser's eyes and hands begin to wander--in the elevator, when working late, at the office or department party. They like to insist on (usually begrudged) kisses or hugs and sometimes involving grabbing the woman's breasts or buttocks. some offenses might also include asking a male about their penis.[citation needed] Called chikan in Japan, the problem is so pervasive there that men are increasingly being banned altogether from stores, restaurants, hotels, spas and even entertainment outlets, and women-only train cars have been created.[13][14] A sign on a station platform in Osaka, Japan, showing the boarding point for a ladies-only car. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Frotteurism. ... Sign indicating boarding point for women only cars Women-only passenger cars ), are women-only cars offered on some Japanese train lines. ...

Opportunist The Opportunist uses physical settings and circumstances, or infrequently occurring opportunities, to mask premeditated or intentional sexual behavior towards a target. This will often involve changing the environment in order to minimize inhibitory effects of the workplace or school(e.g private meetings, one-on-one "instruction," field trips, conferences)

Bully In this case, sexual harassment is used to punish the victim for some transgression, such as rejection of the harasser's interest or advances, or making the harasser feel insecure about themselves or their abilities. The Bully uses sexual harassment to put the victim in his or her "proper place."

Confidante This type of harasser approaches the subordinate, or student, as an equal or a friend, sharing about their own life experiences and difficulties, inventing stories to win admiration and sympathy, and inviting the subordinate to share theirs so as to make them feel valued and trusted. Soon the relationship moves into an intimate domain from which the subordinate finds it difficult to separate.

Situational Harasser Harassing behavior begins when the perpetrator endures a traumatic event, or begins to experience very stressful life situations, such as psychological or medical problems, marital problems, or divorce. The harassment will usually stop if the situation changes or the pressures are removed. Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. ...

Pest This is the stereotypical "won't take 'no' for an answer" harasser who persists in hounding a target for attention and dates even after persistent rejections. This behavior is usually misguided, with no malicious intent.

Great Gallant This mostly verbal harassment involves excessive compliments and personal comments that focus on appearance and gender, and are out of place or embarrassing to the recipient. Such comments are sometimes accompanied by leering looks. The "wolf whistles" of a street harasser are one example of this. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Intellectual Seducer Most often found in educational settings, this harasser will try to use their knowledge and skills as an avenue to gain access to a student, or information about a student, for sexual purposes. They may require students participate in exercises or "studies" that reveal information about their sexual experiences, preferences, and habits. They may use their skills, knowledge, and course content to impress a student as an avenue to harassing or seducing a student. Sexual harassment in education is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities. ...

Incompetent These are socially inept individuals who desire the attentions of their target, who does not reciprocate these feelings. They may display a sense of entitlement, believing their target should feel flattered by their attentions. When rejected, this type of harasser may use bullying methods as a form of revenge.

Stalking can also be a method of sexual harassment. For other uses, see Stalking (disambiguation). ...

Talking about sex when a person feels uncomfortable about it may be called sexual harassment. Example: Dude, that girl last night was GREAT!

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. However, they can create an offensive environment, and one that is consistent with “hostile environment sexual harassment." For example, in the case of Morse v. Future Reality Ltd. in the United Kingdom(1996), the female complainant was awarded compensation after her superiors ignored her complaint that her office mates spent much time studying sexually explicit images downloaded from the Internet, and creating a “general atmosphere of obscenity” in the office. EOC: Sexual Harassment: case decisions Sexualized environments have also been shown to create atmospheres that encourage more serious and direct sexual harassment. For example, when obscenities are common in the workplace, women are 3 times more likely to be treated as sex objects, and be directly sexually harassed than in environments where profanity is not tolerated. And when sexual joking is common, sexual harassment is 3 to 7 times more likely. (Boland, 2002) Profanity is a word choice or usage which its audience considers to be offensive. ... A joke is a short story or ironic depiction of a situation communicated with the intent of being humorous. ... For other uses, see Graffiti (disambiguation). ... Internet pornography is pornography that is distributed via the Internet, primarily via websites, peer-to-peer file sharing, or Usenet newsgroups. ... 1942 US government war poster. ... In employment law, hostile environment sexual harassment refers to a situation where employees in a workplace are subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior from persons other than an employees direct supervisor where supervisors or managers take no steps to discourage or discontinue such behavior. ...

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, such as team sports and fraternities, it is becoming increasingly common for girls/women's groups to engage in similar ceremonies.[15] For example, as women’s sports become more widespread, some have begun to mimic the hazing and other practices characteristic of traditional men’s sports in order to try to be accepted by men in sport.[16] And stories of sexual abuse and harassment in sorority initiations are also appearing more and more frequently in the popular media. [17] While some suggest such activities are just “a joke”; others consider it degrading, insulting and even threatening—especially for many young people who have experienced sexual harassment, sexual abuse, stalking or rape. Young people who lack confidence, or who are confused about their identity, may fall victim to such practices more easily than those who are self-assured.[15] Rituals was an American soap opera that ran in syndication from September 1984 to September 1985 in 260 25 minutes episodes. ... A ceremony is an activity, infused with ritual significance, performed on a certain occasion. ... For other uses, see Rite of passage (disambiguation). ... Hazing is an often ritualistic test and a task, which may constitute harassment, abuse or humiliation with requirements to perform random, often meaningless tasks, sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group. ... For other uses, see Initiation (disambiguation). ... A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. ... Male bonding is a term that is used in ethology, social science, and in general usage to describe patterns of friendship and/or cooperation in men (or in the case of ethology: males of various species). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... While the term fraternity can be used to describe any number of social organizations, including the Lions Club and the Shriners, fraternities and sororities are most commonly known as social organizations of higher education students in the United States and Canada but there are fraternities in the whole world (for... Female sport(s), or women´s sport(s) is a common term used to describe all-female sports and leagues other than composed by men. ... A joke is a short story or ironic depiction of a situation communicated with the intent of being humorous. ... Bad Touch redirects here. ... For other uses, see Stalking (disambiguation). ...

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. [18] They risk hostility and isolation from colleagues, supervisors, teachers, fellow students, and even friends. They may become the targets of mobbing or relational aggression.[19] Mobbing is a new term referring to a group behavioural phenomenon in workplaces and a type of animal behaviour. ... Relational aggression is psychological (social/emotional) aggression between people in relationships. ...

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.[20] Fear of being targeted for harassment or retaliation themselves may also cause some women to respond with hostility.[21] 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.[21] Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. ...

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. [21][20] For other uses, see Sabotage (disambiguation). ... An individual can face termination of employment, or job loss, for one of many reasons. ... For other uses, see Stalking (disambiguation). ... Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk someone. ...

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, Sexual harassment in education is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities. ... Image needed Naomi Wolf (born November 12, 1962) is an American author, political consultant, and public intellectual. ...

"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."[22]

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:

  • Decreased work or school performance; increased absenteeism
  • Loss of job or career, loss of income
  • Having to drop courses, change academic plans, or leave school (loss of tuition)
  • Having one's personal life offered up for public scrutiny --the victim becomes the "accused," and his or her dress, lifestyle, and private life will often come under attack. (Note: this rarely occurs for the perpetrator.)
  • Being objectified and humiliated by scrutiny and gossip
  • Becoming publicly sexualized (i.e. groups of people "evaluate" the victim to establish if they are "worth" the sexual attention or the risk to the harasser's career)
  • Defamation of character and reputation
  • Loss of trust in environments similar to where the harassment occurred
  • Loss of trust in the types of people that occupy similar positions as the harasser or their colleagues
  • Extreme stress upon relationships with significant others, sometimes resulting in divorce; extreme stress on peer relationships, or relationships with colleagues
  • Weakening of support network, or being ostracized from professional or academic circles (friends, colleagues, or family may distance themselves from the victim, or shun them altogether)
  • Having to relocate to another city, another job, or another school
  • Loss of references/recommendations

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.[19][23][24][25][26] On the Threshold of Eternity. ... Anxiety is a physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components[1]. These components combine to create the feelings that we typically recognize as anger and known as fear, apprehension, or worry. ... Panic attacks are sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety, fear and discomfort that are associated with a variety of somatic and cognitive symptoms[1]. The onset of these episodes is typically abrupt, and may have no obvious trigger. ... The current usage of the term nightmare refers to a dream which causes the sleeper a strong unpleasant emotional response. ... For other uses, see Shame (disambiguation). ... This article is about the emotion. ... The word fatigue is used in everyday living to describe a range of afflictions, varying from a general state of lethargy to a specific work induced burning sensation within muscle. ... Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... Look up isolation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Trust is the belief in the good character of one party, presumed to seek to fulfill policies, ethical codes, law and their previous promises. ... Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain severe psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. ... Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a clinically recognized condition that results from extended exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma, including instances of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse (including sexual abuse during childhood), domestic violence, torture, chronic early maltreatment in a caregiving relationship, and war. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ...

Effects of sexual harassment on organizations

  • Decreased productivity and increased team conflict
  • Decrease in success at meeting financial goals (because of team conflict)
  • Decreased job satisfaction
  • Loss of staff and expertise from resignations to avoid harassment or resignations/firings of alleged harassers; loss of students who leave school to avoid harassment
  • Decreased productivity and/or increased absenteeism by staff or students experiencing harassment
  • Increased health care costs and sick pay costs because of the health consequences of harassment
  • The knowledge that harassment is permitted can undermine ethical standards and discipline in the organization in general, as staff and/or students lose respect for, and trust in, their seniors who indulge in, or turn a blind eye to, sexual harassment
  • If the problem is ignored, a company’s or school's image can suffer
  • Legal costs if the problem is ignored and complainants take the issue to court.(Boland 1990)[27][26][28][29][25]

Evolution of sexual harassment law

United States


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). First page of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub. ...

Barnes v. Train (1974) is commonly viewed as the first sexual harassment case in America, even though the term "sexual harassment" was not used.[30] 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. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is a United States federal agency tasked with ending employment discrimination in the United States. ... Meritor Savings Bank v. ... In the most general sense, a liability is anything that is a hindrance, or puts individuals at a disadvantage. ... In employment law, hostile environment sexual harassment refers to a situation where employees in a workplace are subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior from persons other than an employees direct supervisor where supervisors or managers take no steps to discourage or discontinue such behavior. ... The Civil Rights Act of 1991 is a United States statute that was passed in response to a series of United States Supreme Court decisions limiting the rights of employees who had sued their employers for discrimination. ... In law, damages refers to the money paid or awarded to a claimant (as it is known in the UK) or plaintiff (in the US) following their successful claim in a civil action. ... The reasonable man or reasonable person standard is a legal fiction that originated in the development of the common law. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar. ... Lois E. Jenson v. ... In law, a class action is an equitable procedural device used in litigation for determining the rights of and remedies, if any, for large numbers of people whose cases involve common questions of law and fact. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... In law, discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party through the law of civil procedure can request documents and other evidence from other parties or can compel the production of evidence by using a subpoena or through other discovery devices, such as requests for... A lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in order to recover a right, obtain damages for an injury, obtain an injunction to prevent an injury, or obtain a declaratory judgment to prevent future legal disputes. ... Oncale v. ...

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.


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." Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, now known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in honor of its principal author, but more commonly known simply as Title IX, is a 76-word United States law enacted on June 23, 1972 that states: No person...

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."[31] 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. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building[1]) , ED headquarters in Washington, DC A construction project to repair and update the building facade at the Department of Education Headquarters building in 2002 resulted in the installation of structures at all of the entrances to protect employees and visitors from... Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, now known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in honor of its principal author, but more commonly known simply as Title IX, is a 76-word United States law enacted on June 23, 1972 that states: No person...

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.[32] 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. [33] For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...

In 2005, China added new provisions to the Law on Women's Right Protection to include sexual harassment.[34] In 2006 "The Shanghai Supplement" was drafted to help further define sexual harassment in China. [35]

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 to include: The United Nations (UN) is an international organization that describes itself as a global association of governments facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity. ...

"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 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.

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.[36] 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 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.[36] 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. For statistical mediation, see Mediation (Statistics). ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... This article is about legal torts. ...

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: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is a United States federal agency tasked with ending employment discrimination in the United States. ...

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". Quid pro quo (Latin for something for something [1]) indicates a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. ...

Type 3. known as "hostile work environment," is by far the most common form. This form is less clear cut and is more subjective.[20]

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

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 she will go out on a date with him, or tells an employee she will be fired if she doesn't sleep with him.[37] 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.[38]

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.[39] 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) Lois E. Jenson v. ... North Country is a common place name: The North Country is a region of Upstate New York in the United States. ... In employment law, hostile environment sexual harassment refers to a situation where employees in a workplace are subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior from persons other than an employees direct supervisor where supervisors or managers take no steps to discourage or discontinue such behavior. ...

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.[40]

"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 has occurred when an employee suffers a negative action after they make 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.

Other jurisdictions

Many jurisdictions outside the United States have adopted their own definitions of sexual harassment, intended to cover essentially the same forms of undesirable conduct. However, if a country has officially outlawed sexual harassment, most define the behavior similarly to that of the U.S., some examples below:

  • 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.[41]
  • 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. [42]
  • 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.[43]
  • 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.[32]
  • 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.[44]
  • 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.[41]
  • 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.[45]
  • United Kingdom: The Discrimination Act of 1975, was modified to establish sexual harassment as a form of discrimination in 1986. [46] 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.[47]
  • 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." [48]

Eve teasing is a euphemism used in India and Pakistan for sexual harassment or molestation of women by men. ...


Though the phrase "sexual harassment" is generally acknowledged 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.[49] Some feminist groups criticize sexual harassment policy as helping maintain archaic stereotypes of women as "delicate, asexual creatures" who require special protection.[50] Camille Paglia has even gone as far as to blame young girls if they are sexually harassed, saying their own "niceness" provokes it. 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."[51] Alan Morton Dershowitz (born September 1, 1938) is an American lawyer and criminal law professor known for his extensive published works, career as an attorney in several high-profile law cases, and commentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict. ... Eugene Volokh Eugene Volokh (born February 29, 1968) is an American legal commentator and law professor at the UCLA School of Law (located on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles). ... Camille Anna Paglia (born April 2, 1947 in Endicott, New York) is an American social critic, author and teacher. ...

Sexual harassment policy and legislation have been criticized as attempts to "regulate romance" which goes against human urges.[52] 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."[53] 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) Yale redirects here. ... Jane Gallop is a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. ...

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).


  • American Association of University Women. Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in School. AAUW, 2002.
  • American Association of University Women. Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus. AAUW,2006.
  • Bingham, Clara, Gansler, Laura Leedy. Class Action: The Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law. New York, Anchor Books, 2002.
  • Boland, Mary L. Sexual Harassment: Your Guide to Legal Action. Naperville, Illinois: Sphinx Publishing, 2002.
  • Dziech, Billie Wright, Weiner, Linda. The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus. Chicago Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1990.
  • Gallop, Jane. Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment. Duke University Press, 1997.
  • Harper, Colin. My Uncontrollable Urges. Bridge Publications, 1998.
  • Harper, Colin. Why I can't take 'no' for an answer... Bridge Publications, 2001
  • Kamir, Orit. "Israel's 1998 Sexual Harassment Law: Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Stalking, and Degradation Based on Sexual Orientation in the Workplace and in all Social Settings." International Journal of Discrimination and Law, 2005, 7 , 315-336.
  • Koss, Mary P. "Changed Lives: The Psychological Impact of Sexual Harassment." in Paludi, Michele A. ed. Ivory Power: Sexual Harassment On Campus. Albany, NY, State University of New York Press, 1987.
  • Langelan, Martha. Back Off: How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers. Fireside, 1993
  • Patai, Daphne. Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999.
  • Watson, Helen. "Red herrings and mystifications: Conflicting perceptions of sexual harassment," in Brant, Clare, and Too, Yun Lee, eds., Rethinking Sexual Harassment. Boulder, Colorado, Pluto Press, 1994.
  • Westhues, Kenneth. Eliminating Professors: A Guide to the Dismissal Process. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1998.

For further reading

  • Directions in Sexual Harassment Law. R. B. Siegel, co-editor. MacKinnon, Catherine. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 2004.
  • Ivory Power: Sexual Harassment On Campus. Paludi, Michele A. ed. Albany, NY, State University of New York Press, 1987.
  • Sexual Harassment : A Practical Guide to the Law, Your Rights, and Your Options for Taking Action. O'Shea, Tracy, and LaLonde, Jane. St. Martin's Griffin, 1998.
  • Sexual Harassment of Working Women : A Case of Sex Discrimination. MacKinnon, Catherine. Yale University Press, 1979
  • Sexual Harassment on the Job: What It Is and How to Stop it. Petrocelli, William, and Repa, Barbara Kate. NOLO, 1998
  • The Updated and Expanded 9to5 Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment : Candid Advice from 9to5, the National Association of Working Women. Bravo, Ellen, and Cassedy, Ellen. The 9to5 Fund, 1999.

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

Sexual harassment in media and literature

  • The Ballad of Little Jo: film based on the true story of a woman living in the frontier west who disguises herself as a man to protect herself from the sexual harassment and abuse of women all too common in that environment.
  • Disclosure: a film starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore in which a man is sexually harassed by his female superior, who tries to use the situation to destroy his career by claiming that he was the sexual harasser.
  • Disgrace: a novel about a South African literature professor whose career is ruined after he has an affair with a student.
  • Hostile Advances: The Kerry Ellison Story: television movie about Ellison v. Brady, the case that set the "reasonable woman" precedent in sexual harassment law.
  • In the Company of Men: film about two male coworkers who, angry at women, plot to seduce and maliciously toy with the emotions of a deaf subordinate who works at the same company.
  • Les Miserables: a novel by Victor Hugo, and later several film adaptations. During the early stages of the story, Fantine is fired from her job after refusing to have sex with her boss.
  • The Magdalene Sisters: film based on the true stories of young women imprisoned for "bringing shame upon their families" by being raped, sexually abused, flirting, or simply being pretty, and subsequently subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by the nuns and priests in the Magdalene asylums in Ireland.
  • Nine to Five: film comedy starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton, about three women who are subjected to constant bullying and sexual harassment by their boss.
  • North Country: film depicting a fictionalized account of Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co., the first sexual harassment class action lawsuit in the U.S.
  • Oleanna: an American play by David Mamet, later a film starring William H. Macy. A college professor is accused of sexual harassment by a student. The film deals with the moral controversy as it never becomes clear which character is correct.
  • Pretty Persuasion: film starring Evan Rachel Wood and James Woods in which students turn the tables on a lecherous and bigoted teacher. A scathingly satirical film of sexual harassment and discrimination in schools, and attitudes towards females in media and society.
  • War Zone: documentary about street harassment.
  • Sexual Harassment Panda, an episode of South Park, parodies sexual harassment in schools and the lawsuits which result from lawyers and children using the vague definition of sexual harassment in order to win their lawsuits.
  • Sexual Harassment In The Workplace, an instrumental minor-key blues by Frank Zappa, from the album Guitar

The Ballad of Little Jo is a 1993 film inspired by the true story of a society woman who tries to escape the stigma of bearing a child out of wedlock by going out West, and living disguised as a man. ... The cowboy, the quintessential symbol of the American Old West, circa 1887. ... Disclosure is a 1994 thriller based on Michael Crichtons novel of the same name. ... For other people bearing this name, see Michael Douglas (disambiguation) Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. ... Demi Kutcher (born Demetria Gene Guynes on November 11, 1962) is an American actress. ... Disgrace (1999) is a novel by South African author J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature; the book itself won the Booker Prize in 1999, the year in which it was published. ... In the Company of Men is a 1997 film written and directed by Neil LaBute and starring Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy and Stacy Edwards. ... Les Misérables is an 1862 novel by the famous French novelist Victor Hugo, set in the Parisian underworld. ... Victor-Marie Hugo (pronounced ) (February 26, 1802 — May 22, 1885) was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France. ... The Magdalene Sisters is a 2002 film written and directed by Peter Mullan about teenage girls who were sent to Magdalene Asylums, otherwise known as the Magdalen Laundries: homes for women who were labeled as fallen by their families or society (though the film itself questions this). ... Nine to Five, also known as 9 to 5, is a 1980 comedy movie starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman and a television series of the same name starring Rachel Dennison, Rita Moreno, and Valerie Curtin. ... Jane Fonda (born December 21, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. ... Lily Tomlin (born Mary Jean Tomlin on September 1, 1939), is an Academy Award-nominated American actress and comedian. ... Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is a Grammy Award-winning country music singer/songwriter, author, actress and philanthropist. ... North Country is the name of an Academy Award-nominated film directed by Niki Caro and released in 2005. ... Lois E. Jenson v. ... Oleanna is a two-character play by David Mamet about the power struggle between a university professor and one of his female students who accuses him of sexual harassment and, by doing so, spoils his chances of being accorded tenure. ... David Alan Mamet (born November 30, 1947) is an American author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and film director. ... Not to be confused with Bill Macy. ... Pretty Persuasion is a 2005 comedy / drama / teen film directed by Marcos Siega and written by Skander Halim. ... Evan Rachel Wood (born September 7, 1987[1]) is an American film, television and theater actress, and singer. ... For other persons named James Woods, see James Woods (disambiguation). ... War Zone is a 1998 documentary about street harassment. ... Sexual Harassment Panda is episode 306 of Comedy Centrals animated series South Park. ... This article is about the TV series. ... Frank Vincent Zappa[1] (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, musician, and film director. ... Guitar is a 1988 album by Frank Zappa. ...

See also

Catherine MacKinnon Catharine Alice MacKinnon (born 7 October 1946) is an American feminist, scholar, lawyer, teacher, and activist. ... In employment law, hostile environment sexual harassment refers to a situation where employees in a workplace are subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior from persons other than an employees direct supervisor where supervisors or managers take no steps to discourage or discontinue such behavior. ... Bad Touch redirects here. ... Sexual harassment in education is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a student’s ability to learn, study, work or participate in school activities. ... Workplace bullying, like childhood bullying, is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker. ... A disciplinary counseling session is a meeting between a supervisor and employee. ...


  1. ^ Facts and Figures about gender equality in Europe
  2. ^ More men say they are sexually harassed at work
  3. ^ a b US EEOC: Sexual Harassment
  4. ^ a b Sexual harassment of men revealed
  5. ^ Daily India Sexual Harassment
  6. ^ Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in School AAUW: 2001
  7. ^ Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus AAUW 2002, 2006
  8. ^ What's behind today's epidemic of teacher-student sex?
  9. ^ The Early Warning Signs of Sexual Harassment and Abuse In School
  10. ^ Sexual Harassment and Nonviolent Action
  11. ^ Sexual Harassment: Causes, Consequences and Cures
  12. ^ PBS Frontline: the navy blues: Tailhook '91
  13. ^ Japan Tries Women-Only Train Cars to Stop Groping
  14. ^ 'Women only' signs make Japan's men fume
  15. ^ a b Why is Hazing a Problem?
  16. ^ WomenSport International: Position Statement
  17. ^ 20/20's Report on Sorority Hazing May 3, 1999
  18. ^ Sexual harassment too often leads to humiliation for victims
  19. ^ a b Effects of Sexual Harassment
  20. ^ a b c Dealing With Sexual Harassment
  21. ^ a b c Sexual harassment retaliation, backlash, and victim blaming
  22. ^ The Silent Treatment
  23. ^ Common Effects of Sexual Harassment
  24. ^ Sexual Harassment: Myths and Realities
  25. ^ a b StopVAW: Effects of Sexual Harassment
  26. ^ a b Psychosocial and Organizational Factors: Sexual Harassment
  27. ^ Sexual harassment bad for victims and for business June 22, 2005
  28. ^ Sexual harassment: Poisoning profit prospects August 10, 2005
  29. ^ For Help with the Handling of Harassment
  30. ^ The Sad Evolution of Sexual Harassment October 27, 2004
  31. ^ Sexual Harassment Guidance
  32. ^ a b Sexual Harassment and Rape Laws in India
  33. ^ Domestic Legal Framework November 1, 2003
  34. ^ China to outlaw sexual harassment
  35. ^ China Daily
  36. ^ a b What to Do if You or Someone You Know is Sexually Harassed
  37. ^ The Law & Your Job: What is quid pro quo harassment?
  38. ^ Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
  39. ^ The Law & Your Job: What is hostile environment harassment?
  40. ^ Policy Guidance on Current Issues of Sexual Harassment 03/19/90
  41. ^ a b Employment Law in Each Country
  42. ^ Denmark Law
  43. ^ Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in France and in the United States Spring 1997
  44. ^ AASHA - (Pakistan) Alliance Against Sexual Harassment
  45. ^ Sexual Harassment in Russian Workplaces - Sexual Harassment Support Forum
  46. ^ Strathclyde Regional Council v Porcelli [1986 IRLR 134 Court of Session]
  47. ^ Sexual Harassment: what the law says
  48. ^ Full text of the Philippine Anti Sexual Harassment Law
  49. ^ Freedom of Speech vs. Workplace Harassment Law
  50. ^ Feminism and Free Speech
  51. ^ Playboy interview, Camille Paglia May 1995
  52. ^ Sexual Harassment: The employer's role in prevention
  53. ^ Love, Lust, and the Law Sexual Harassment in the Academy

External links

  • Directory of EEOC and state anti-discrimination agencies
  • Database of important sexual harassment cases and litigation
  • U.S. Dept. Of Education Sexual Harassment Resources
  • Database of international articles focusing on the problem of sexual harassment
  • Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - free online course
  • Committee for Children: Bullying and sexual harassment in schools
  • Popular lesson plan for teaching young people about sexual harassment
  • SESAME - Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation
  • Sexual Harassment Support - information, resources
This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This list of sex positions includes descriptions of various forms of sexual intercourse and other sexual acts between people. ... Oral sex consists of all sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, which may include use of the tongue, teeth, and throat, to stimulate genitalia. ... Roman men having anal sex. ... A person performing anilingus. ... Peter Fendi, 1835 Carvings at Khajuraho, an ancient Hindu Temple near Delhi, India This content has an uncertain copyright status and is pending deletion. ... Sexual sublimation, also known as sexual transmutation, is a method used to reportedly transform the sexual energy into higher creative outlets in order to faciliate spiritual awakening. ... Bareback is a term that originated in gay slang to describe acts of unprotected sex, especially anal sex. ... Saucy Postcard 1905 - 1915 Dirty talk is a dysphemism for a lovers practice of using graphic word imagery to heighten sexual pleasure before and during the sex act. ... In a sexual context, a facial (also known as a facial cumshot) is the slang term for the sexual activity in which one person directs an ejaculation onto the face of another person, often following oral sex, intercourse, or other stimulation. ... For other uses, see Fingering (disambiguation). ... Fisting or fist fucking (FF) is a sexual activity that involves inserting the hand and forearm into the vagina or anus. ... Woman masturbating, 1913 drawing by Gustav Klimt. ... Johann Nepomuk Geiger, watercolor, 1840. ... Non-penetrative sex (also known as outercourse) is sexual activity without vaginal, anal, and possibly oral penetration, as opposed to intercourse. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Intercrural sex. ... Adult entertainment is entertainment restricted from people under a specified age in by a community, religious group, or government. ... An artificial vagina used to collect semen from horses for use in artificial insemination An artificial vagina is a device designed to simulate the female sex organ. ... For other uses, see Dildo (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Personal lubricants are specialized lubricants which serve to reduce friction with the vagina, the anus, or other body parts. ... A spanking paddle is a usually wooden instrument with a long, flat face and narrow neck, so called because it is roughly shaped like the homonymous piece of sports equipment, but existing in more varied sizes and dimensions, (length, width and thickness) used to administer a spanking to the buttocks... Porn redirects here. ... Sex dolls should not be confused with anatomically precise dolls. ... A sex toy is a term for any object or device that is primarily used in facilitating human sexual pleasure. ... Front window of a Tokyo sex shop advertising adult toys A sex shop is a shop that sells products such as sex toys, pornography, erotic lingerie, erotic books, and safer sex products such as condoms and dental dams. ... Adult video games are video games which have significant sexual content (like adult movies), and are therefore intended for an adult audience. ... For other uses, see Birth control (disambiguation). ... Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis. ... The shamefulness associated with the examination of female genitalia has long inhibited the science of gynaecology. ... Satyriasis redirects here. ... Sexual dysfunction or sexual malfunction (see also sexual function) is difficulty during any stage of the sexual act (which includes desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution) that prevents the individual or couple from enjoying sexual activity. ... An early 20th century post card documents the problem of unwanted pregnancy. ... A sexually transmitted disease (STD) or venereal disease (VD), is an illness that has a significant probability of transmission between humans or animals by means of sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Roman oil lamp depicting coitus more ferarum Erotic depictions include paintings, sculpture, photographs, dramatic arts, music and writings that show scenes of a sexual nature. ... For the Macy Gray song, see Sexual Revolution (song). ... Sexual identity is a term that, like sex, has two distinctively different meanings. ... Sexual orientation refers to an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction toward others,[1] usually conceived of as classifiable according to the sex or gender of the persons whom the individual finds sexually attractive. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Age of consent laws Worldwide While the phrase age of consent typically does not appear in legal statutes,[1] when used with reference to criminal law the age of consent is the minimum age at which a person is considered to be capable of legally giving informed consent to any... Obscenity in Latin obscenus, meaning foul, repulsive, detestable, (possibly derived from ob caenum, literally from filth). The term is most often used in a legal context to describe expressions (words, images, actions) that offend the prevalent sexual morality of the time. ... This article is about a form of sexual violence. ... Bad Touch redirects here. ... Ejaculation is the ejecting of semen from the penis, and is usually accompanied by orgasm. ... The erection of the penis, clitoris or a nipple is its enlarged and firm state. ... Insemination is the introduction of semen into the genital tract of a female. ... An orgasm (sexual climax) is the conclusion of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, and may be experienced by both males and females. ... This article is about human pregnancy in biological females. ... Turn on redirects here. ... Collars are a commonly used symbol of BDSM and can be ornamental or functional. ... Incest is defined as sexual relations between closely related persons (often within the immediate family) such that it is either illegal or socially taboo. ... Matrimony redirects here. ... Look up paraphilia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Whore redirects here. ... For other uses, see Religion and sexuality (disambiguation). ... Romance is a general term that refers to an intimate and often sexual relationship between two people. ... Sexual abstinence is the practice of voluntarily refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity. ... In a species that reproduces sexually, sexual attraction is an attraction to other members of the same species for sexual or erotic activity. ... Sexual ethics is a sub-category of ethics that pertain to acts falling within the broad spectrum of human sexual behavior, sexual intercourse in particular. ... Sexual objectification is objectification of a person. ... A sex surrogate is a member of a sex therapy team who will engage in intimate physical and often sexual relations with a client. ... Sex tourism is travel to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual activity with prostitutes, and is typically undertaken internationally by tourists from wealthier countries. ... This article is about sexual practices (i. ... This article is about human sexual perceptions. ... Sexology is the systematic study of human sexuality. ... Sexual slang is any slang term which makes reference to sex, the sexual organs, or matters closely related to them. ... Sexual ethics is a sub-category of ethics that pertain to acts falling within the broad spectrum of human sexual behavior, sexual intercourse in particular. ... This is a list of topics on sexual ethics. ... Age of consent laws Worldwide While the phrase age of consent typically does not appear in legal statutes,[1] when used with reference to criminal law the age of consent is the minimum age at which a person is considered to be capable of legally giving informed consent to any... The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across Africa. ... Age of consent laws Worldwide The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across Asia. ... The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across Australia and Oceania. ... Age of consent laws Worldwide The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across Europe. ... The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across North America. ... The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across South America. ... Child sexuality refers to sexual feelings, behavior and development in children. ... Child pornography refers to pornographic material depicting children being sexually abused. ... Prostitution of children refers to the use of children as prostitutes. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Virginity pledges (or abstinence pledges) are commitments made by teenagers and young adults to refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage. ... Main articles: Human sexual behavior, Adolescence, and Adolescent sexuality Adolescent sexual behavior refers to the sexual behavior of adolescents. ... This article is about human sexual perceptions. ... Incest is defined as sexual relations between closely related persons (often within the immediate family) such that it is either illegal or socially taboo. ... An early 20th century post card documents the problem of unwanted pregnancy. ... Sexual orientation refers to an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction toward others,[1] usually conceived of as classifiable according to the sex or gender of the persons whom the individual finds sexually attractive. ... This article is about the act of adultery. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota... Bad Touch redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Child sexual abuse is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Age of consent reform refers to efforts meant to change age of consent laws. ... Anti-pedophile (or anti-paedophile) activism encompasses opposition to pedophiles, pro-pedophile activism, and other phenomena that are commonly seen as related to pedophilia, such as child pornography and child sexual abuse[1]. // Some local groups have taken to marching in opposition to the locations of various child sex offenders... Pro-pedophile activism or Pro-paedophile activism (Commonwealth usage) encompasses pro-pedophile organizations and activists that argue for certain changes of criminal laws and cultural response associated with pedophiles and adult-minor sexual relations. ... Whore redirects here. ... Zoosexuality and the law looks at the laws governing human-animal sexual interaction (also sometimes known as bestiality or zoophilia) around the world. ... A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as sex crimes. ... This article is about work. ... Recruitment refers to the process of finding possible candidates for a job or function, usually undertaken by recruiters. ... A cover letter or covering letter is a letter of introduction attached to, or accompanying another document such as a résumé or curriculum vitae. ... An employment contract is an agreement entered into between an employer and an employee at the commencement of the period of employment and stating the exact nature of their business relationship, specifically what compensation the employee will receive in exchange for specific work performed. ... An independent contractor is a person or business which provides goods or services to another entity under terms specified in a contract. ... Job Interview is a process in which a potential employee is evaluated by an employer for prospective employment in their company, organization, or firm. ... Look up résumé, curriculum vitae, resume in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A full time job usually has benefits (such as health insurance) and are often considered careers. ... A part-time job carries less hours per week than a full-time job, and usually pays less than a full-time job. ... A permatemp is an employee whose status is somewhere between a temporary employee and a permanent employee. ... Self-employment is the individual pursuit of capitalism. ... Temporary Work or Temporary Employment refers to a situation where the employee is expected to leave the employer within a certain period of time. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Volunteer (disambiguation). ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Sick leave (or sickness pay or sick pay) is an employee benefit in the form of paid leave which can be taken during periods of sickness. ... Workers compensation (colloquially known as workers comp in North American English or compo in Australia) provides insurance to cover medical care and compensation for employees who are injured in the course of employment, in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employees right to sue his or her employer for... The 35-hour workweek is a measure adopted first in France, in February 2000, under Prime Minister Lionel Jospins administration. ... Flextime (or flexitime Flexi-time) is a variable work schedule, in contrast to traditional work arrangements requiring employees to work a standard 9am to 5pm day. ... The 8-hour day movement or 40-hour week movement (a. ... Overtime is the amount of time someone works beyond normal working hours; these may be determined in several ways, by custom (what is considered healthy or reasonable by society), by practices of a given trade or profession, by legislation, or by agreement between employers and workers or their representatives. ... It has been suggested that Nomad Workers be merged into this article or section. ... Second shift redirects here. ... The legal workweek varies from nation to nation, and its definition is usually heavily influenced by the predominant religion of the country, or by colonial history. ... Working time refers to the period of time that an individual spends at paid occupational labor. ... A wage is a compensation which workers receive in exchange for their labor. ... Living wage refers to the minimum hourly wage necessary for a person to achieve a basic standard of living. ... A maximum wage is a state enforced limit on how much income an individual can earn. ... The minimum wage is the minimum rate a worker can legally be paid (usually per hour) as opposed to wages that are determined by the forces of supply and demand in a free market. ... Look up Leave in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The overtime rate calculates the ratio between employee overtime with the planned working times in a specific time period. ... An employee handbook (or employee manual) details guidelines, expectations and procedures of a business or company to its employees. ... Fired and Firing redirect here. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... In employment law, constructive dismissal is where an employee resigns due to their employers behaviour. ... An individual can face termination of employment, or job loss, for one of many reasons. ... Layoff is the termination of employment of an employee or (more commonly) a group of employees for business reasons, such as the decision that certain positions are no longer necessary. ... A letter of resignation (or a resignation letter) is a type of letter written by an employee to his or her employer to officially announce their resignation from the current position that they hold. ... A resignation is the formal act of giving up ones office or position. ... Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. ... A severance package is pay and benefits an employee receives when they leave employment at a company. ... CIA figures for world unemployment rates, 2006 Unemployment is the state in which a person is without work, available to work, and is currently seeking work. ... Wrongful dismissal is an idiom and legal phrase, describing a situation in which an employees contract of employment has been terminated by the employer in circumstances where the termination breaches one or more terms of the contract of employment, or a statute provision in employment law. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Sexual Harassment - MSN Encarta (1951 words)
The trial court had concluded that because the sexual relationship between the employee and her supervisor was voluntary, the sexual conduct was unrelated to the employee’s continued employment, and therefore the employee was not a victim of sexual harassment.
According to the Court, the proper standard for determining sexual harassment is a middle path between conduct that is merely offensive and conduct that causes a tangible psychological injury.
In deciding that employers may still be liable for such harassment, the Court reasoned that an employee's supervisory status may help him or her to sexually harass a subordinate, even if the supervisor does not use his or her authority to take specific retaliatory actions against a victim.
  More results at FactBites »



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