Definition of sexual harassment
There are two main approaches to defining sexual harassment; one is from a legal perspective and the other from a social-psychological perspective. In general, social-psychological definitions are broader than legal ones, thought recent exception exist Legal definitions is according to historical writings, sexually harassing behaviour has long been a problem. The term ‘Sexual harassment’ however only emerged in the 1970, when feminists argued that sexual threats, bribes, and objectifications presented odious conditions of employment often faced by women, but rarely by men, and therefore constitute unlawful sex discrimination. Organizations saw sexual harassment as a ‘private issue’ between the harasser and victim, beyond the scope of organizational responsibility. Sexual behaviour at work can therefore remind men and women of their unequal status in society more broadly and reinforce their inequality at work. In the years of 1980 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC, the legal entity charged with enforcing federal sex discrimination law) developed from the following definition of sexual harassment still used today such as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly effects and individuals employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating hostile or offensive work environment. The EEOC has since offered more specific guidelines for identifying sexual harassment. Prompted by court rulings, there include that the victim and harasser can be of the same sex, that the harasser need not to be employed by the victim’s organization, and that the victim can be anyone affected by the conduct including those not directly targeted. As awareness of sexual harassment and the breadth of behaviour covered by law have grown, so too have the...
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