ERIC Number: ED363525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Crime of Power, Not Passion: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
Business and Professional Women's Foundation, Washington, DC.
This paper focuses on the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. The legal definition of sexual harassment as drawn up by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is: "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that are explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individuals employment or are the basis for employment decisions." The document traces the history of sexual harassment as an issue in the courts. In 1986 the Supreme Court found that sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment and so is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. By 1991 the Court had established that the question of harassment must be viewed from the perspective of a reasonable "woman" rather than a reasonable "person", since men, who are rarely victims of sexual assault, may lack the ability to perceive the underlying threats that a woman may perceive. A "box" showing how women respond to harassment in which behaviors are listed under "internal" and "external" focus is included. A graph illustrates the steps involved in filing a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The overwhelming majority of victims of sexual harassment are unwilling to file claims because they fear that this will simply lead to more trouble. Victims sometimes accept sexual harassment as part of the cost of doing business. Fear of not being believed, an unwillingness to open up one's personal life to public scrutiny, and possible harm to one's career all figure in the decision not to pursue action against a harasser. Ways in which women can eliminate sexual harassment are suggested; they include working for effective legal remedies, increasing communication in the workplace, and educating the employer about the real cost of sexual harassment in the work place. (DK)
Descriptors: Employed Women, Labor Conditions, Law Related Education, Organizational Climate, Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Social Change, Supplementary Reading Materials, Vocational Education, Womens Education, Work Environment
Business and Professional Women's Foundation, 2012 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Business and Professional Women's Foundation, Washington, DC.