LOUISE F. FITZGERALD PH.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology and Womens' Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the Ohio State University in 1979 and has held faculty positions at Kent State University and the University of California—Santa Barbara. Her major research area is sexual harassment in the workplace and academia, which she has been studying for nearly a decade. She is the 1992 recipient of the Holland Prize for Excellence in Research in Personality and Career Development and in 199 1 was the psychological consultant to Professor Anita Hill's legal team during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.
Why Didn't She Just Report Him? The Psychological and Legal Implications of Women's Responses to Sexual Harassment
Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
1995 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 117–138, Spring 1995
How to Cite
Fitzgerald, L. F., Swan, S. and Fischer, K. (1995), Why Didn't She Just Report Him? The Psychological and Legal Implications of Women's Responses to Sexual Harassment. Journal of Social Issues, 51: 117–138. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1995.tb01312.x
- Issue published online: 14 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
The last few years have seen an increasing awareness of sexual harassment as an important social problem with serious implications for individuals and organizations alike, leading to increased attempts to understand how victims respond to this stressful and sometimes traumatic experience. The present article reviews the behavioral science research on responses to sexual harassment, including their links to outcomes and consequences. We then present an alternative to the frequently invoked assertiveness paradigm, derived from the cognitive-behavioral stress and coping framework. We examine our paradigm in the context of legal proceedings that, in effect, hold the victim responsible for responding appropriately; explore the more general implications of placing the burden of noncom-sent on the victim; and conclude with a discussion of this research for an emerging legal theory of sexual harassment.