The Perception of Sexual Assault & Harassment

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The Perception of Sexual Assault & Harassment Sexual harassment and sexual assault is nothing new to the modern world. Though the aspect of sexual assault and harassment has existed since the dawn of time. Cavemen would club their selected mate and have their way with them. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that it became more pronounced as immoral and derogatory. Though some may say that certain acts, gestures, jokes, songs, or even quote do not fall under anything worth mentioning, it all boils down to who is present and how the offended perceives it. Bystanders may just see it and not think anything of it, or they will find it extremely offensive. Men and women comprise two very different and distinct cultures. In an organizational setting, misunderstandings between these two cultures can cause major problems and disrupt the process of working to achieve organizational goals. This problem is compounded when men and women of different cultural backgrounds come together in an organizational setting. One such problem that may occur is the issue of sexual harassment in the organization. The following study will explore the possible definitions of sexual harassment from a cultural perspective. Do different cultures perceive and define sexual harassment differently? As stated In the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, sexual harassment is defined as: ` Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: •Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, or •Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such ... ... middle of paper ... ...at because of the social connection between peers the difference between men and women was not as great as that found in a hierarchal environment. Sexually stereotyped jokes and repeated requests of relationships were also among this same study. On the other hand, men and women were in agreement that “sexual coercion” and sexual propositions both fell under sexual harassment. (Rotundo, Nguyen, & Sackett, 2001) In conclusion, the perception of sexual harassment changes from person to person, gender to gender, and where the supposed act may take place. The past has proven that in any case, women are more likely to perceive a broader range of sexual contact or gestures as sexual harassment, while men will be less inclined to say anything. Perception is everything in sexual harassment, and dependent on the environment, may or may not have adverse effects none the less.
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