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Sexual Harasstment

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The purpose of this paper is to give information about sexual harassment in the United States. I will explain what sexual harassment is, the types of sexual harassment, how does the law deal with sexual harassment and how can sexual harassment be prevent. I want to inform about sexual harassment so that way we can help to stop this in our workplace and in any place that we might be.

Sexual Harassment
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is considered as a form of harassment which includes any unwanted conduct or comment which has a negative impact on the victim on the victim’s work environment. Sexual harassment, like other types of harassment is considered as a form of discrimination. Some examples of this behavior include annoying comments, jokes, verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, offensive pictures, graffiti, cartoons or sayings also offensive email messages. According to (Gruber 1997; Gutek 1985) women and men may experience sexual harassment but women are more likely to be sexually harassed. Moreover, women are more likely to experience negative job-related consequences of sexual harassment such as quitting or losing a job due to unwanted sexual advances (Dansky and Kilpatrick 1997).

Types of Sexual Harassment
There are three types of sexual harassment as identified by Gelfand et al (1993). These include gender harassment, unwanted sexual attention and sexual intimidation, each of these consists of a variety of verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Gender harassment involves behaviors that generally result in handover aggressive and humiliating attitudes about women such as gender discrimination. Unwanted sexual attention consists of behaviors that are more widely recognized as harassing such as repeated attempts to establish a romantic relationship after refusal; unwanted touching; and sexual imposition or assault. Sexual intimidation, the least common, yet most universally recognized type of harassment, involves threats for sexual cooperation. “Not only is sex harassment against the law, but so is retaliating against someone for complaining about sexual harassment or for participating in an investigation of sexual harassment said (EEOC, 2011).”

How does the law deal with sexual harassment?
Well in the United States, the idea of workplace sexual harassment was first developed as a legal concept and then as a concept empirically studied by social and behavioral scientists. In the US, workplace sexual harassment is considered a form of gender-based discrimination under Federal Law. In 1980, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a set of guidelines that have become the corner store of legal and policy definitions of sexual harassment throughout the United States. The guidelines describe two general types of sexual harassment.

The first one is called “Hostile work environment” and it happens where the atmosphere of the workplace is made hostile by sexual harassment. Hostile environment harassment captures those activities, such as sexual jokes, comments, and touching, that interfere with an individual’s ability to do her/his job or that create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

The second is called “Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment”, this type of harassment involves sexual threats or corruption that made a condition of employment or used as the basis for employment decisions (Welsh 2002).

How to prevent sexual harassment?
Well the organization and the management in the workplace play a very important role in the prevention of sexual harassment. In the event that sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, the employer most assume liability for the hostile environment sexual harassment if the following conditions are met: the employer has knowledge of the undesirable conduct, the employer is in a position to control the upsetting conduct and if the employer fails to take immediate and appropriate action. The employer has a big responsibility in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. For them to response quickly and effectively, there must be a strong policy that will aim at the prevention of harassment before it actually happens.

If sexual harassment occur, the employer is also responsible for acting on complaints in a timely and fair manner. Each and every charge of sexual harassment, regardless of how insignificant, must be taken seriously by the management of an organization. The EEOC encourages employers to take effective preventive action to discourage sexual harassment. According to its “Policy Guidance Memorandum” (1988), an effective preventive program should include fast preventions against sexual harassment that are clearly and regularly communicated to employees and effectively implemented. There should also be internal procedures for receiving, and resolving sexual harassment claims. This means that it is in the best interest of the organization to develop a sexual harassment policy (Robinson et al 1993).

In conclusion, sexual harassment should not be tolerated by anyone. The minute an individual is been a victim of sexual harassment, law enforcement must be inform. It might be difficult to come up with evidence but the law will always fine the truth. No individual should have to suffer in a hostile work environment; a workplace should be comfortable every day and not a painful environment.


Dansky, B. S., and Kilpatrick, D. G.(1997). Effect of Sexual Harassment. In O’Donohue, W. T. (ed.), Sexual Harassment: Theory, Research and Treatment, Allyn and Bacon, pp. 152-174 EEOC. (2011). Retrieved from website: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm Gelfand, M. J.
Fitzgerald, L. F., and Drasgow, F.(1993). The Structure of Sexual Harassment: A Confirmatory Analysis across cultures and settings. Under review. Gutek, B. A. (1985). Sex and the Workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Gruber, J. E. (1997). An Epidemiology of Sexual Harassment: Evidence from North American and Europe. In O’Donohue, W. (ed.), Sexual Harassment, Allyn and Bacon, pp. 152-174 Robinson, R. K., Allen, B. K., Franklin, G. M. and Duhon, D. L. (1993). Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Review of the Legal Rights and Responsibilities of All Parties. Public Personal Manegment, 22(1): 123 Welsh, S. (2002). Gender and Sexual Harassment. Annual Review of Sociology, 169.

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