SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

This study examined whether gender differences in sexually based perceptions of social interactions persist when traditional male–female power roles are reversed, when the interaction becomes progressively more sexually harassing, and when the response to the harassment is accepting or rejecting. A laboratory experiment was conducted in which 187 female and 165 male undergraduate students viewed a 5-minute videotape. Twelve versions of a scenario depicting a professor interacting with a cross-sex student were created which manipulated the sex of the powerholder, level of harassment, and response to harassment. Results indicated that men perceived the female target as behaving in a “sexier” manner regardless of her status, the level of harassment, or the victim's response. Women's sexually based perceptions of the most harassing male professor were greater than men's, however. Incorporating these gender differences in perceptions into a much-needed comprehensive model of sexual harassment (Zedeck & Cascio, 1984) appears to be warranted.