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Study of sexual harassment indicates it also affects males

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2015 | Sexual Harassment |

A sexual harassment claim can stem from lewd comments, sexual innuendo, and sexually explicit materials in the workplace. While the general perception for sexual harassment in California and throughout the world centers on men harassing women, the reality is that men are also harassed. A recent study from an Australian university shows that more than one out of every 10 sexual harassment complaints is made by men.

These cases can vary from women harassing men to men harassing men. In 5 percent of the cases, it was a woman who allegedly harassed a man. In 11 percent, it was men who were said to be committing the harassment against other men. Analysis in Australia, based on complaints to the authorities, showed that a significant number of the cases – 78.4 percent – were females complaining about harassment from males. Women faced allegations of harassment of other females 5.7 percent of the time.

The researchers found that while males are predominately accused of these acts, more men than previously realized are subjected to it. Regardless of the gender, those who were accused of sexual harassment were mostly in positions of authority over the victims. Accused women were frequently found to have been trying to fit in with a culture in which superiors are mostly male. Men harassed by men are often confronted with homosexual comments and questioning of sexuality.

Forty percent of the male to female harassment incidents involved unwanted sexual advances with physical contact. The study also indicated that a victim of harassment can face problems being able to function at work as well as psychological issues. According to a study cited by one researcher, approximately one-quarter of females and 16 percent of males reported having been sexually harassed within the last five years. Considering the frequency with which it happens, it may be wise for those who are dealing with sexual harassment to understand their legal rights to pursue compensation.