Sexual Harassment An Analysis a Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Janove (2001) does point out that there are many victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, but that often those most affected tend to keep quite, or attempt to avoid their harassers altogether when possible.

In a case study the author points out that some managers still fail to take action against supervisors or managers that may be engaging in sexually harassing behaviors, in part because they may be engaging in similar behaviors themselves. This was shown to be more often the case in a male dominated work environment that one that was more gender neutral.

Silence according to the author does not indicate a lack of knowledge regarding HR law or sexual harassment issues, but rather suggests that many employees have expressed a desire to avoid conflict rather than face the consequences of coming forth against harassers.

The author cites a study reported by Joan Kennedy Taylor in "What to do when you don't want to call the cops" which reveals that when women are propositioned they are more likely to be offended, whereas when men are propositioned in the workplace they are more likely to be flattered. This study is supported by numerous other studies that suggest that gender differentiation does exist with regard to perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace.


Both of the articles reviewed examine sexual harassment from a similar perspective. They both acknowledge the prevalence of sexual harassment and note that gender differentiations still exist in the workplace with regard to perceptions of sexual harassment. The first article and the second acknowledge that numerous studies have been conducted (Blumenthal, 1998; Blakely et. all, 1998) which acknowledge that sexual harassment is more often perceived as offensive by males than females, more often acceptable to males than females, and that more behaviors are considered harassing to females than males in the traditional work environment.

Each of the authors in the articles reviews cites literature studies that also concur with the conclusions drawn, suggesting that as a whole sexual harassment continues to be a pervasive problem within the corporate workforce that more negatively impacts the female population than the male population.

There is a large body of evidence suggesting that workplace discrimination is an insidious problem that in some instances is ignored for fear of conflict in the workplace. According to both articles, women are less likely to come forward about sexual harassment if they have been truly victimized for they fear the results of such admission and the effects of admission of sexual harassment on their job or future with the organization.

From both articles one might also conclude that sexual harassment in some organizations may be more acceptable and commonplace than others. Both articles cite examples of organizations that are more male dominant, and suggest that sexual harassment is more of a problem in these types of environments.

While the first article focuses simply on differences in sexual harassment perceptions between men and women, Janove (2001) focuses on reform, suggesting that employers can avoid lawsuits by acknowledging the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in the workplace and taking active steps to educate and reduce the incidence of sexually harassing behavior. This is perhaps the primary difference of the two articles.

Despite the first article's lack of emphasis on reform, it does present the idea that reform is necessary and should take the form of gender specific training. From each of the articles one might conclude therefore that sexual harassment training might need to be more gender oriented or specific, since the dominant theory revealed seems to be that men and women view sexual harassment in the workplace very differently.


Blumenthal, J.A. (1998). The reasonable woman standard: A meta-analytic review of gender differences in perceptions of sexual harassment. Law and Human Behavior, 22, 33-57

Blakely, G.L.; Blakely, E.H.; Moorman, R.H. (1998). "The effects of training on perceptions of sexual harassment allegations." Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 28(1):71-83

Janove, J.W. (2001). "Well below the threshold for sexual harassment can help you avoid an unexpected lawsuit - Legal Trends/Practical Insights." HR Magazine, November. 14, November, 2004:

Rotundo, M., Nguyen, DH, Sackett, P. (2001). "A Meta-Analytic Review of Gender

Differences in Perceptions of Sexual Harassment." Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5):914-922. 12, November, 2004:

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