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Sexual Harassment In The Workplace Essay

1379 words - 6 pages

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
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Obviously, it is a very natural thing for men and women to be attracted to each other in sexual ways. Men, more than women, have been historically known to be far more aggressive in their advances toward women sexually and it varies from each woman as to how these aggressive advances make them feel. Advances such as whistling, bottom pinching and glaring are the types of things some men do to women in an attempt to show they are sexually attracted to them. These types of advances can be attempted just about anywhere; the beach, the mall, in night clubs, walking down the street, or even in their place of employment. Where should the line be drawn as to where these advancements are appropriate and what can a woman do to protect herself from feeling uncomfortable while trying to make a living? Women experiencing this type of treatment is a real problem in the workplace today and has been for many years. It has become to be known as sexual harassment and was given a widely used definition by Michael Rubenstein as 'unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or conduct based on sex which is offensive to the recipient'(Collier 3). However, the term often has a very unclear definition in the legal since. Harassment is only harassment if it is felt to be so by the recipient(3). With that said, there is a very large range as to what could be felt as sexual harassment and that creates a great concern for men in the workplace and a need to be extremely careful as to what is said, the way you look, as well as what and where fellow employees are touched. A small, innocent touch on the shoulder could be seen as harassment just as a crude sexual pinch on the bottom by some women. Because of that, sexual harassment, rightfully so, is approached as a serious concern in the workplace and many precautions are being taken in an effort to stop sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment in itself is not new, women have been harassed at work ever since they have worked alongside men. In 1840, women working in the mines were described in a Royal Commission investigation as being constantly pressured for sexual favors by men. The actual term of sexual harassment is relatively new. A women's movement in the 1970's brought the term to the United States and it became widely known in the United Kingdom in the 1980's(2). As time has continued to move and women began to fill up the workforce, the issue has become a bigger problem. Obviously, since there are more women and men working together, there are going to be more cases of sexual harassment.
Since sexual harassment, as an act, has been going on for centuries, there is no conclusive evidence as to what studies pinpointed the problem as to when and where it began. However, many studies have been conducted since sexual harassment has become more of a problem and these studies deal with the definition from different people as well as the extreme...

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