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Sexual Harassment In The Workplace Essay

2686 words - 11 pages

Sexual Harassment in the WorkplaceIntroductionSexual harassment is very complex and problematic for one out of two women at some point during their working lives (Gutek, 1985). There are many complexities of sexual harassment, that aid in understanding the issues and how it has developed. The roots of its existence and its various definitions, along with the cultural attitudes that exist in our society regarding roles, also help in building an understanding of its development. Creating awareness of what constitutes sexual harassment can be accomplished by looking into the history of roles in society and how they have evolved, along with defining and investigating the extent to which it is a problem with workplace productivity. A step by step analysis of what the person that is being sexually harassed can do to prevent and report incidents and if new preventative measures need to be added for what still is believed to be the remaining concern with sexual harassment. All of these factors will help employees define and understand sexual harassment in the workplace as well as promote the reporting of it.Between 40 to 90% of women in the Unites States have been victims of some form of sexual harassment on the job (Sexual Har.2001). Yet, regardless of all its publicity, sexual harassment still remains hidden by most of its victims in todays society (Hotelling, 1991). The question of what constitutes sexual harassment continues to be addressed in human resource offices, courtrooms, break rooms, and living rooms. Sexual harassment is a frequently covered topic, however, the fact that it is not reported as frequently as it happens states that the victims that remain silent should be a concern. Since sexual harassment occurs mostly to women (Terpstra 1985), assumes that women are victims and men are harassers. Sexual harassment in the workplace may include a promise of a reward or promotion in exchange for sexual favors; or it may include a threat that if you don't go along with the harassment there will be job consequences. Consequences can include losing your job, not getting the shift you want, being demoted, or being denied a promotion (Lumpar 2000). Sexual harassment in the workplace has been forefront in public awareness since the President Clinton scandals. Most feel that jokes or comments between coworkers are not sexual harassment, but to those who do not share the humor, it is. People not agreeing on what constitutes sexual harassment is where the problem seems to stem from.Findings: Understand Attitudes & BeliefsCulturally determined attitudes and beliefs also have an effect on sexual harassment (Hotelling, 1991). For women, the traditional cultural role for women is that of a wife and mother. On the other hand, the masculine role is that of being a family provider, or "breadwinner." These are views established by society which reinforce that wage-earning women should limit their employment to specific stereotypical female roles such as...

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