Causes of Sexual Harassment at Workplace

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  • Topic: Abuse, Bullying, Sexual harassment
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  • Published : June 16, 2011
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Causes of Sexual Harassment in Workplace
According to Trida Prekel, in IPM journal, March 1989, Sexual Harassment, a deep-rooted problem, the causes of sexual harassment vary. Many of the causes are interrelated, linked to the culture and values in society, company, and to the roles, relative power and status of the men and women concerned, which will be then further discussed.

The way in which men and women were brought up to themselves and others strongly influences their behaviour. There are various viewpoints could create a climate that allows sexual harassment to happen such as those listed below. i. In a culture where it is still discriminating against people because of the difference in terms of gender, race, culture, lifestyle, and so on, the abuse of power of humiliation that is typically a sexual harassment will not be unusual. Harassment is often closely linked to prejudice in general, and to sexist attitudes. ii. Men who were brought up with macho beliefs such as “girls were made to hug and kiss” and etc, easily carry this social values to workplace and treat their female colleagues accordingly. iii. Many women have been brought up to believe women’s highest calling is to please men, that popularity with men equals success, or that “real women look sexy”. This can unintentionally give the impression that they are inviting sexual advances at work. iv. If women see themselves as dependent on, or of lesser value than men, or are unassertive, they find it vulnerable and difficult to handle harassers or to complain, fearing of losing their job.

Power games
Recent social and political changes have changed power relations. Some men feel threatened by the career advancement of women or uncomfortable with the assertiveness of women. Hence, harassment occurs as men were to prove themselves. In times of uncertainty, fear, limited promotion opportunities, performance pressure, there is a real danger that sexual harassment...
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