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NCJ Number: 201440 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Harassment: Violence Against Women at Work (From Sourcebook on Violence Against Women, P 209-222, 2001, Claire M. Renzetti, Jeffrey L. Edleson, and Raquel K. Bergen, eds. -- See NCJ-201429)
Author(s): Phoebe Morgan
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter defines the problem of sexual harassment and explores the complexity of this form of violence against women.
Abstract: In the early 1980's, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) added sexual harassment to their list of discriminatory behaviors. The EEOC defines sexual harassment as "any form of uninvited sexual attention that either explicitly or implicitly becomes a condition of one's work." The OCR considers sexual harassment as a form of unwanted sexual attention that becomes a condition of one's education experience. The types of behaviors that fit EEOC and OCR definitions include, but are not limited to, unwanted talk about sex, jokes about sex or sexualized horseplay, uninvited physical contact, requests for sexual favors, pressures for dates or sex, sexual abuse, and sexual assault. A substantial body of case law now supports the labeling of such behaviors as illegal and organizes them into two types of discrimination claims: quid pro quo and hostile environment. The concept of quid pro quo views sexual harassment as a type of sexual blackmail and sexual harassment as a characteristic of a hostile environment. This chapter argues that sexual harassment of women in the workplace is part of the larger continuum of violence against women, since it is a form of controlling and demeaning women. One section of the chapter considers who is at risk of becoming a victim of sexual harassment. The chapter notes that the amount of risk a woman assumes in the workplace varies according to the type of environment in which she performs her work or attends school. Those who work in male-dominated workplaces or who assume masculine occupations report more harassment than those who perform jobs associated with women's work. Also, when talk about sex and sexual behavior is part of a work group's routine, sexual harassment is likely to become a part of that environment. The majority of sexual harassers are men, and women who are supervised by men on their jobs are also more likely to experience sexual harassment. Women who challenge male dominance at work are at greater risk of harassment than those who comply with male dominance. The consequences of sexual harassment for its victims include job loss or the fear of losing one's job, as well as loss of dignity and trust in others. Mental health professionals consider sexual harassment as a significant psychosocial stressor, and a growing number of clinicians rate its effects on their patients as severe to extreme. The efforts of victims to counter sexual harassment, however, can be empowering for those who deal with it effectively. In addition to pride, those who pursue formal redress find their knowledge of the law is enhanced and their commitment to rights in the workplace intensified. 72 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Sexual behavior; Sexual harassment; Victims of violent crime; Violence causes; Violence in the workplace; Workplace Violence
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