Accession Number : ADA290709

Title :   Gender Differences in Conceptualizing Sexual Harassment.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. Oct 92-Sep 93,

Corporate Author : NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER SAN DIEGO CA

Personal Author(s) : Thomas, Marie D.

PDF Url : ADA290709

Report Date : JAN 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 36

Abstract : The purpose of this study was to identify gender differences in interpreting behaviors as sexually harassing and to investigate variables that Navy enlisted personnel consider when making such judgments. Three hundred and forty-seven enlisted men and women from three San Diego Navy sites took part in the study. Each participant was administered a questionnaire, and a subsample of personnel participated in the focus groups. Key findings are: (1) The scenarios considered by the Navy to depict sexual harassment were viewed by the study participants as moderately to extremely behaviors, and the more serious behaviors were considered sexual harassment. (2) Mild, ambiguous behaviors, such as dirty jokes and coarse language, were generally not viewed as sexual harassment by the study participants. (3) Overall, women rated the harassment behaviors as more serious than did men, and women were more likely than men to regard behaviors as sexual harassment. (4) Men slightly overestimated women's seriousness and sexual harassment ratings of the behaviors. Women greatly underestimated men's ratings. (5) Participates were more likely to rate scenario behaviors as interfering with work performance and creating a hostile environment than they were to label the behaviors 'sexual harassment.' ( 6) Women participating in focus groups indicated that their male coworkers often expressed negative attitudes toward Navy women and were punishing women for the Navy's current sensitivity to sexual harassment. (7) While men did not express overtly negative attitudes toward women in the focus groups, there was general agreement that women often were overly sensitive and quick to label a behavior as sexual harassment.

Descriptors :   *SEXUAL HARASSMENT, SCENARIOS, ENVIRONMENTS, NAVAL PERSONNEL, ATTITUDES(PSYCHOLOGY), PERFORMANCE(HUMAN), NAVY, ENLISTED PERSONNEL, RATES, SENSITIVITY, RATINGS, ENEMY, WORK, BEHAVIOR, WOMEN.

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE