REPORTED INCIDENCE RATES OF WORK-RELATED SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE UNITED STATES: USING META-ANALYSIS TO EXPLAIN REPORTED RATE DISPARITIES

Authors


  • We thank Tim Judge, Huy Le, Sara Rynes, and Frank Schmidt for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Remus Ilies, who is now at the Department of Management, Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, N475 North Business Complex, East Lansing, MI, 48824; admin@studies-online.org.

Abstract

This study presents a meta-analytic review of the incidence of sexual harassment in the U.S. The impact of 3 main moderator variables (type of survey used, sampling technique, and the type of work environment in which the study was conducted) on the reported incidence rate was estimated by cumulating incidence rates reported in the literature. Results show that directly querying the respondents about whether or not they experienced sexual harassment (vs. using questionnaires that listed behaviors believed to constitute sexual harassment), and employing probability-sampling techniques (vs. convenience sampling), led to substantially lower estimates of sexual harassment incidence. In addition, the results suggest that sexual harassment is more prevalent in organizations characterized by relatively large power differentials between organizational levels. Based on more than 86,000 respondents from 55 probability samples, on average, 58% of women report having experienced potentially harassing behaviors and 24% report having experienced sexual harassment at work.

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