This research was initiated while the first author was teaching at Nanyang Technological University and completed while working as a visiting Scholar at Department of Psychology, Peking University. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Ang Tsu Fen, Tan Lin Choon, and Teh Pei Li at Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, for their help with data collection. They also thank an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on the initial version of this article.
A Study on Singaporeans’ Perceptions of Sexual Harassment From a Cross-Cultural Perspective1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 699–717, April 2005
How to Cite
Li, S. and Lee-Wong, S. M. (2005), A Study on Singaporeans’ Perceptions of Sexual Harassment From a Cross-Cultural Perspective. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35: 699–717. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2005.tb02142.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
This paper addresses the question of whether culture and language in Singapore affect the interpretation of sexual harassment; that is, whether speakers from a different language and ethnic background will interpret the discourse domain of sexual harassment differently. Three studies constitute this research. The first study investigates whether certain cues relating to sexual harassment are judged equivalently across the ethnic groups. The second study examines how verbal space is conceptualized and ruled by the use of different languages used by different ethnic groups. The third study explores whether English, as a medium of communication, is a low-context language. Results show that different ethnic groups perceived the cues differently; that ethnicity affects the interpretation of a single English phrase; and that English as used by Singaporeans is a high-context language, which complicates the understanding of victims’ coping responses.