Standard Article

Sexual Harassment

  1. Barbara A. Spears

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470672532.wbepp248

The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology

The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology

How to Cite

Spears, B. A. 2011. Sexual Harassment. The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


Behaviors that included deliberately suggestive comments or jokes, staring or leering, unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering, kissing, or unnecessary familiarity were without a common name prior to 1976 (HREOC, 2009). As a consequence, these behaviors were not recognized as what we now know as sexual harassment (SH): unwanted sex-related behavior towards someone, especially by someone with authority towards a subordinate. Around the same time, bullying was just beginning to be explored in Europe, but workplace bullying, sexual bullying, and the use of sexually explicit emails or short message service (SMS) messages to denigrate another, including “sexting,” would not be understood until much later.


  • harassment;
  • sex ratio theories;
  • sexual harassment;
  • sexual bullying;
  • workplace bullying;
  • schools