The authors thank Louise Fitzgerald and Joseph McGrath for their helpful suggestions on earlier versions of this article, and the SexHarass research group at the University of Illinois for data collection. Chevon Kothari and Claudia Carroll provided valuable research assistance. This project was partially funded by a Shannon Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. An earlier version of this article was presented at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, April 10, 1994, Nashville, TN.
THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF MEN?
Exploring the Concept with Theory and Data
Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 527–547, December 1996
How to Cite
Berdahl, J. L., Magley, V. J. and Waldo, C. R. (1996), THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF MEN?. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20: 527–547. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1996.tb00320.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
- First draft received: November 14, 1995; Final draft received: June 6, 1996
Recently the focus of sexual harassment research on the harassment of women by men has been challenged. Treatments of sexual harassment of men, however, have generally ignored power differentials between the genders. Our analysis predicts that behaviors identified as harassing by men stem from negotiations of gender in the workplace that challenge male dominance, whereas behaviors experienced by women as sexually harassing reinforce female subordinance. Consistent with our predictions, results indicated the following: men are considerably less threatened than women are by behaviors that women have found harassing; men find sexual coercion the most threatening form of harassment; men as well as women sexually harass men; and men identify behaviors as harassing that have not been identified for women. Results also showed signs of backlash among men against organizational measures that address sexual harassment and discrimination against women. Implications for psychological and legal definitions of sexual harassment of men are discussed.