Exploring of Sexual Harassment Essay Example
Exploring of Sexual Harassment Essay Example

Exploring of Sexual Harassment Essay Example

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  • Pages: 12 (3251 words)
  • Published: November 22, 2021
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This paper explores sexual harassment with regard to diverse management authorities and other elements that comprises and are associated with sexual harassment. Sexual harassment and some of its related social traits in in the society are also described. Also the paper describes the difference between sexual harassment and discrimination between the two genders.

Types of sexual harassment are also described and explained with examples, with regard to what constitutes a hostile work environment. A strong conclusion pertaining this social issue is plotted at the end of the paper. Sexual harassment differs from gender discrimination on the basis that sexual harassment is conduct that is not necessary for the performance of a job, but is outside the scope of necessary job duties and is used for personal gratification while gender discrimination aris


es out of the performance of necessary management duties such as hiring or firing. Gender discrimination is when management bases personal decisions due to ones gender (Willness150).

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Type

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is normally the most recognizable form of sexual harassment which is basically sexual harassment when a person of authority seeks sexual favors in exchange of employment benefits.

In the office setting typically quid pro quo sexual harassment is a direct form of sexual harassment which would be when the person of authority asks the employee for an exchange of a sexual favor for either a pay raise, a higher end job, or even the basis that one can keep their job in return of said sexual favor. Another form of quid pro quo sexual harassment can be indirect such is when an employee is denied employment benefits afte

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a sexual advance has been rebuffed but nothing has been talked about but was implied in the form of rubbing the employees leg or giving a shoulder massage (Lim483). Quid Pro Quo in the work place is identified by the exchange of sexual favors to gain advancement in the work place. Various methods are used by individuals of authority. Who often use their position to gain favor among co-workers by requesting they perform a sexual act in exchange for monetary or employment compensation.

Another method used is the requesting of a date and threatening the individual of losing their job if they do not except the request. Given today’s technology harassers have become more creative and are using text messages, e-mails and other public boards to solicit co-workers. Workers are strictly held accountable for quid pro quo sexual harassment since employees and supervisors who perpetrate quid pro quo harassment are thought to be acting strictly on behalf of their employer. However, remedies for traumatized and victimized individuals of quid pro quo sexual harassment may comprise of compensatory damages such as future economic loss and medical expenses (McMaster093). In Unfriendly work surroundings, sexual harassment occurs when a person of authority commits sexual harassment on the employee in which the sexual advances alter the employees working conditions making the environment seem abusive or it alters the employees working conditions. A situation with severe and pervasive behavior would be described as a hostile working environment which conflicts with the worker's ability to do his/her job.

A comment which is perceived by the employee as insignificant does not count as sexual harassment. Examples of hostile work environment are repeated instances of

inappropriate jokes or any comments which make an employee uncomfortable or if an employee posts inappropriate or pornographic pictures up in the office. Both of these examples could make an employee uncomfortable in front of their peers and make them not want to be a part of that company (McMaster096). There are several ways that an employer can help its employees to understand the different aspects of sexual harassment. The reasonable person standard determines unreasonable behavior.

It is important that the reasonable standard be used in order to make sure all employees are protected. The behavior is unwelcome if it would make a reasonable person uncomfortable, or the person on the receiving end asks the other to stop. Sexual harassment is an issue which must be taken seriously not only by the employer, but also by the employees. It is demeaning to the employees that go through it and can cause hostile work environments, which an employer never wants. Employers must take all reports of harassment seriously and follow the guidelines given by the EEOC in order to insure a healthy work environment (Willness161). It is the job of all employees to help make sure that sexual harassment does not occur.

Moreover, sexual harassment is a very severe issue and will not be tolerated. Our company recognizes sexual harassment as unlawful discrimination and we will do everything in our power to prevent and deter it. All employees are covered under our company’s sexual harassment policy including full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, contractor, and any other employee not listed. This policy pertains to any work environment including company headquarters, business travel, any business social events, and any other place

where our company is represented.

Every instance of sexual harassment should be reported and will be taken seriously and investigated promptly.

Immediate Impacts of Sexual Harassment

During the attack, victimized individuals develop different perceptions like absolute and dissociation fear of death. Moreover, when the traumatized individual is exasperated and fumed with fear, it does not translate to the individual demanding for heinous acts to happen. The survivor may agree to cooperate with the criminal, but that does not mean that she consented or wanted the act to happen. Research establishes that the fear is a short-term and immediate impact that is common. The key responses that succeed rape are intense fear and anxiety.

Many authors allege that this situation happens three weeks after the act takes place. However, this may persist for a year or so, but it depends with different survivors (Campbell194). Researchers allege that victims may experience an array of long-term and medium impacts. The survivors develop low-self-esteem guilt and self-blame which can endure for years and months after the assault.

Reports confirm that survivors deny or tend to forget the aspects of past experiences. This is a defense mechanism that is developed by the victims against the overwhelming feelings of bewilderment, shock and confusion. Another typical impact among the sexual assault victims is suicide ideation. The survivors who are at higher risks are the younger victims who may contemplate suicide and at times execute it (McMaster100).

Trauma and Post-Traumatic Disorder (PTSD)

According to Campbell (194), the clinical diagnosis that deals with post-traumatic disorder and the trauma response model aims at acknowledging the essence of the harm that sexual victims undergo as well as the degree of

the assault. Psychiatrists label TSD as a list of psychological symptoms that succeed a traumatic event. The trauma concept has its limitations. The various measures about trauma are not usually responsive to diversity. While rape is usually an experience that is traumatic and violates human rights, the repercussion of the trauma in an individual may be distinct in different settings. Some measures on trauma feature many views concerning the world that are not shared by many people.

Conditions on trauma do not comprise of all the sexual assault effects in an individual. Symptoms of PTSD may include: distressing recollections and intrusive thoughts of the violence. The victim may experience sleep disturbances and nightmares which may appear as norm rather than the exception. The survivor may experience depression and can last up to four years or more. Research establishes that the rate of depression prevalence amongst women in the world stands at 44%. There is also anxiety or mood disorders, and 40% of women with a past assault history suffer from anxiety or mood disorder.

Researchers note that survivors have avoidance behavior. Any form of harassment would or can create a hostile work environment for an employee if this harassment is not addressed. The court’s definition of harassment and what constitutes a hostile work environment has extended to managers and employees who see themselves in the same situation as well. Sexual harassment does not imply that the person harassing the other person is of the opposite sex. Therefore, the assault can be anyone in the work place, like the employee's supervisor, manager, customer, coworker, supplier, peer, or even one of the vendor’s.

However you look at it, it can

be any one who is associated to the employee's work environment that can be accused of sexual harassment. There is also the common fear of getting being pregnant with a rapist as well as contracting the deadly AIDS and HIV after the assault. Sexual assault disproportionally affects women that originate from marginalized communities. The season for this is that it reaffirms to them that they have no value in the society.

The world becomes a place that is dangerous and unsafe. Criminal psychologists call it insidious trauma.

Physical Impacts

According to Campbell (194), not all sexually assaulted women experience medical problems or physical injuries. However, an array of health consequences and physical injuries can be attributed to sexual assault.

Physical effects include damage to the vagina, anus and urethra in the event of victims who suffered through penetrative sex. There are the reproductive, gastrointestinal and sexual health problems that emanate from the assault. There is a high risk of getting infections that are sexually transmitted including AIDS and HIV. It leads to chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. Unwanted pregnancies are inevitable.

Sexual assault has other implications such as financial, communal and social.

Recovery and Resilience

In the face of negative reactions of others as well as the negative impacts of assault, victims possess significant reliance. The healing and resilience for the survivors are processes that are multidimensional, and the victims are described as surviving and suffering. Resilience can be promoted by positive support reactions, talking about the sexual assault, acknowledgment of the impact and formation of strong social networks. A victim of sexual harassment is not just an employee who’s the target of the harassment; it

can include other employees who observe sexual harassment that can also be victims. Anyone who seemingly affected by this conduct can file a complaint of sexual harassment.

For instance, if a manager is involved in a sexual relationship with a member of the staff, other staff can file a complaint for harassment, if they believe that the manager has treated their lover differently than they were treated. As it is stated in the organization's sexual harassment policy, the employee should be advised about that set policy and if they experience harassment, they should tell the person to stop what they are doing, that their advances and unwanted behavior is unwelcome. Sexual harassment also can happen when the complainant cannot show any unfavorable affect their employment. Which would include, transfers, discharge, salary decreases, and so on.

When someone experiences sexual harassment, they should always use the complaint system and go through the proper procedures as stated in the sexual harassment policy in their handbook. Every employer responsibility when it comes to sexual harassment complaints is to take each complaint of sexual harassment very seriously and investigate every report (Barling255). Following the harassment complaint, there should be no retaliation towards the person who filed the complaint, and therefore, no matter what, the result is of the investigation. In no way should the employer treat the employee any different than any other employee previous to the complaint. If during the investigation, the employer was to find out that these allegations were false, the appropriate actions would be taken from there.

Sexual harassment is a case that is very popular in today’s work places. If the policy is reiterated on semi-yearly or

quarterly bases, the cases within the company may be much fewer than others. This might be a stemmed behavior from the idea that they are most likely going to get away with their actions because of insufficient evidence, bias towards their position, victim blaming, or pure negligence in the part of those in command. These are the types of atrocities that should be eliminated immediately through the reinforcement of well-balanced leadership involvement. They explain the potential sanctions to punish perpetrators and the ramifications to unit morale. They ensure that there is an open door policy for members to communicate their problems to higher officials.

Considering that majority of harassment cases takes plan within the unit, military leaders must take necessary steps to eradicate sexist attitudes in order to change a culture that is fostering a permissive environment of harassment (McMaster101). They must ensure that sexually explicit and degrading material should not be found within their unit to reduce the risk of offense. Leaders must ensure their junior enlisted soldiers feel protected and that there would be no judgment so as to not hinder them from reporting. Most of the time victims feel like they are a under microscope if they were to come forward with being harassed. The idea that they will be blamed or that there will be retaliation for telling the truth is a mentality that must be stopped. Being sexually harassed is traumatic enough but having the courage to stand up to the culprit is something that needs applause.

Personal Reflection

The rise of sexual harassment is in direct correlation with the quality of training and information dissemination that is taking place within that

unit. There is no denying that each command is different and diverse in nature. That’s why culture specific content is important because there might be a more effective approach in relaying the message in a way that is both relatable and understandable for the participants. Some of the practices that I’ve seen my unit implement has been conducting interactive group discussions, situational vignettes, role play, and emphasis on how to receive, handle, and resolve sexual harassment disputes.

Courses should teach soldiers about intervention, victim empathy, consent, acceptable behavior, and healthy relationships. Sexual Harassment is a predecessor to assault in most situations. Both the employee and employer may be liable for the offense committed. The employer would have to prove beyond a doubt that they have nothing to do with the employee’s actions. First of all the employee would be terminated once the company conducts their own investigation and have proof that the offense occurred.

The individual that committed the offense would not only lose his job but may be sued by the victim. In general, employers should take the appropriate steps to make sure that harassment should not and does not take place in the workplace. They can start by reiterating the sexual harassment policy and general policy in their yearly meetings and sign off on a mandatory policy. Then file them in every employees file for verification that this was acknowledged. Go over how the harassment investigations would be conducted within the company and go over the policy that forbids any employee that is in a manager or supervisor position from dating a current employee and that detail the appropriate steps required if a relationship was

to come about.

Moreover, dating your management staff is never appropriate. After creating these harassment policies, they would need to train all of their employees about these harassment policies. The managers and supervisors are the front line when it comes to managing employee performance. However, managers do not want a workplace environment that allows any form of harassment to occur. A supervisor’s commitment to their employees and the company, sexual harassment, in any shape, form or fashion should never to be tolerated.

In a sexual harassment suit, just as well as in other work related law suit topics, as a concerned employer, showing the courts and employee that you have taking the extra steps to investigate and research the case thoroughly, shows that you took appropriate steps to avoid this happening again.


It is imperative companies take it upon themselves to educate their employees regarding sexual harassment in the work place. Managers set the bar through their example and their knowledge of how sexual harassment affects the work place. It is recommended that all organization put in place an effective harassment policy and prevention program will help companies provide a good working environment as well as the prevention of liability.

The program should be in writing, define harassment and declare that it will not be tolerated. It should be detailed and point out the definition, methods and consequences of harassment in the work place. The program should involve training and education programs to sensitize management and employees to harassment issues (McMaster104).

Victim’s Rights

With the implementation of many laws since Title VII, victims are practically all but assured compensating if they can prove their case. Once a

sexual harassment claimant establishes a case of sexual harassment that meets applicable legal standards, employers generally have the burden of proving that the harassment did not occur or that it occurred for non-discriminatory reasons (Barling255). In conclusion, it is vital for managers to understand the advantage of both Quid Pro Quo, and a hostile working environment.

Managers should be aware of the effect and consequences sexual harassment may have on their business and employees. They are responsible for the employees safety according to the law enacted in 1964 and are subjected to other laws under Title VII. Sexual harassment only demeans the victim and disrupts the company’s business by adding an additional burden on both the employees and management team. It can come costly as productivity may diminish and employees begin to leave the company for a better working environment. Moreover, the training and recruiting cost of new employees would become a factor if productivity levels are down. Preventing sexual harassment be it Quid Pro Quo or a hostile working environment, starts with educating management.

Management should serve as an example to all employees and should conduct themselves professionally at all times. Understanding the law, knowing the methods used to harass, the victims’ rights and the consequences of harassment need to be a major stance for all managers. Knowledge is power and power positively used can help deter sexual harassment in any environment. Sexual assault is a barbaric and heinous act. Survivors experience distinct consequences that are negative, and there is no typical list of the symptoms that the victims exhibit. The repercussions are profound and they touch on the mental and physical health of individuals, as

well as their interpersonal relations with their colleagues, family, partners and friends.

The ramifications of sexual assault exceed the individual, to have an effect that is general on the social nature of the society.


  1. Barling, Julian, A. Gail Rogers, and E. Kevin Kelloway. "Behind closed doors: in-home workers' experience of sexual harassment and workplace violence." Journal of occupational health psychology 6.3 (2001): 255.
  2. Campbell, Rebecca, et al. "The co-occurrence of childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment: a mediational model of posttraumatic stress disorder and physical health outcomes." Journal of consulting and clinical psychology 76.2 (2008): 194.
  3. Lim, Sandy, and Lilia M. Cortina. "Interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace: the interface and impact of general incivility and sexual harassment." Journal of applied psychology 90.3 (2005): 483.
  4. McMaster, Loren E., et al. "Peer to peer sexual harassment in early adolescence: A developmental perspective." Development and psychopathology 14.01 (2002): 91-105.
  5. Willness, Chelsea R., Piers Steel, and Kibeom Lee.

    "A meta?analysis of the antecedents and consequences of workplace sexual harassment." Personnel Psychology 60.1 (2007): 127-162.

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