Sexual harassment has been a prevalent occurrence in workplace across the country. Sexual aberration can lead to damage to personal reputation, loss of dignity, or even physical injury. Although it is illegal, it continues to happen in this politically correct era. Sexual harassment has many definitions and therefore some people find it difficult to define. Many case studies have been done on the subject of sexual harassment in the workplace in such as fields as: liability, procedures and policies, statistics, civil rights, and power issue.
According to (Popovich 315) and her colleagues, sexual harassment in the workplace is phenomenon. They were able to do a study with undergraduates describing sexual harassment incidents in the workplace and scripts resulted. Those scripts were then by mixed pairs of trained persons. The analysis was able to show that stereotypical beliefs were obvious, with scripts including the harassment of a younger good-looking female underling, generally a secretary, by a male that was her boss.
The behaviors of the scripts had a severe to less severe behavior in different settings. Teasing was a form of public harassment that involved multiple harassers. The victim was treated unprofessional by the bantering harassers. Each form of sexual harassment script was able to show what was deemed as typical behavior, the motive of the harassers, and the response of the victim (Popovich 315). Sexual harassment has been seen as a social interaction. At one time only researchers and feminist theorists were interested in the topic.
Today the topic is an organizational issue. There have been many cases on sexual harassment that was brought to the forefront and into American awareness (Popovich 315). The Equal employment Opportunity Commission established guidelines for the problem of sexual harassment in 1980 (Popovich 315). Since that time research on the matter of sexual harassment has increased steadily. In order to understand sexual harassment more fully, various surveys have been used in the research of sexual harassment.
It is evidenced that one persons perception of sexual harassment is unlike another’s perception. A persons perception of sexual harassment depends on several factors to include the gender of the person rating the incident, the position of the person involved in the proposed sexual harassment incident (Popovich 315). How is an incident labeled as sexual harassment? According to (Popovich 315) and her colleagues sexual harassment is subjective in nature. This being the case, it is important to actually discover how people define sexual harassment in the workplace.
Subjects have been given lists of behavior that is potentially sexual harassment in order to ascertain their viewpoint on the matter. Based on a college student poll that was done nationally, Fitzgerald and her colleagues were able to develop an instrument that reflects the types of sexual harassment. Popovich and her colleagues suggest that there are three types of factors involved in sexual harassment: unwanted sexual attention, sexual coercion, and gender harassment (Popovich 315).
A better understanding may be made of the so-called phenomenon of the sexual harassment by determining the rules that people go by, and what is inferred in behavior causality. Little is known concerning the view that people consider as what is typical when examining incidents of sexual harassment (Popovich 315). Due to sexual harassment, in the court system there have been disagreements concerning the excludability of workplace losses from their general liability policies.
Liability insurance has typically been limited to providing coverage for such items as bodily harm or damage to property. In sexual harassment cases, some courts have judged continuing employment as a property right. Others have taken a more conservative stance in the matter. If the sexual harassment is intentional, this act can be a hurdle that the insured must overcome. Fischer said that the entire issue can be avoided by the purchase of employment practice liability policies (Fischer B9).
There has been an employment of several measures for coping with the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Barak stated, Although much of the effort has been provided for special legislation, proper grievance procedures, or actions for organizational change, few attempts have been made to prevent sexual harassment through the application of appropriate training procedures based on effective psycho-educational methods (Barak 595). A seminar using cognitive-behavior techniques was used to provide women with an awareness concerning sexual harassment at work.
Although the majority of sexual harassment claims are made by women against the opposite sex, same-gender sexual harassment also occurs. In fact same-gender sexual harassment complaints are growing in the American workplace. The statistics are quite staggering. According to (Sipkins and Schmitt B7) Sexual harassment complaints by men have tripled since 1991 and now make up 11. 6% of cases reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and many of these claims involve alleged same-gender sexual harassment (Sipkins and Schmitt B7).
According to (Graziano 381) the Civil Rights Act of 1964 named sexual discrimination and granted a right for the remediation of its victims. Women have had centuries of legally and culturally sanctioned abuses; therefore, this act was a fortification for womankind. Unfortunately, however, there has been little effective action by women concerning harassment in the workplace. There has actually been little progress in the area of sexual harassment and the maltreatment of women in the workplace and in schools.
Graziano said, As is often the case, laws have not always changed attitudes of employers, professors, physician, lawyers, judges, or colleagues, and the process of redressing wrongs is frequently at least as stressful and injurious to womens mental and physical health as was the original violation of their rights (Graziano 381). Furthermore, The harmful effects of the harassment or legal procedures on the recipients self-esteem, self-image, career, productivity, economic well-being, and relationships are long lasting and sometimes permanent (Graziano 381).
According to (Graziano 381) sexual harassments definition is a power issue. In case after case whether the woman is a physician or one that works in a factory, sexual harassment is shown to have a similar experience to rape, abuse that is sexual, and violence that is domestic, in that the women are not believed and they, as victims, are considered at fault. A sexual harassment trial puts the woman on the defensive. She becomes drained emotionally because of the lack of support for her cause (Graziano 381). According to (Desole 155) the issue of sexual harassment is a complex one.
It requires a deep understanding. Sexual harassment has clear ramification, which have been seen to explode in scholarly as well as popular media. Desole posits that a great deal has been published concerning the topic of sexual harassment, yet some questions remain unanswered (Desole 155). There has been no sign of sexual harassment decreasing. The 1990s have seen a barrage of instances of sexual harassment in the workplace even though most people are aware of the problem. The court system has become somewhat responsive to the issue of sexual harassment.
It is suggested that there are many instances of sexual harassment that do not reach visibility, or conclusion in the matter. Disole suggests that such critical dimensions as race, class, and sexual orientation are not substantially taken into account (Desole 155). Even though there are laws against harassment in the workplace, it perseveres as an issue that is morally degrading, hard to fight, and emotionally draining for the women involved. Several studies have been done on the issue and one constant remains clear: each person has his or her own opinion what constitutes sexual harassment.