Sexual Harassment

Topics: Sexual harassment, Clarence Thomas, Abuse Pages: 10 (1640 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Sexual harassment is one of the biggest problems facing our

schools and businesses today. A week rarely goes by without a

reminder of the pervasiveness of sexual harassment as a social

problem. Sexual harassment is a growing problem in the government

agencies, schools, and the corporations of the world; however, many

corporations are now adopting new anti-harassment policies.(Conta)

The definition of sexual harassment is any unwanted or

inappropriate sexual attention. That includes touching, looks,

comments, or gestures. A key part of sexual harassment is that it is

one sided and unwanted. There is a great difference between sexual

harassment and romance or friendship, since those are mutual feelings

of two people. Often sexual harassment makes the victim feel guilty,

but it is important for the victim to remember that it is not their

fault, the fault lies totally on the person who is the harasser.

Many times fear is involved in sexual harassment because it

isn't about physical attraction, it's about power. In fact, many

sexual harassment incidents take place when one person is in a

position of power over the other; or when a woman has an untraditional

job such as a police officer, factory worker, business executive, or

any other traditionally male job. Typical victims of harassment are

young, single, college-educated, members of a minority racial or

ethnic group (if male), in a trainee position (or office/ clerical

positions if male), or have an immediate supervisor of the opposite

sex. (Cq researcher 542)

Presently, it is hard for courts and others to decide when

sexual harassment has taken place because the definition of sexual

harassment is much too broad. Clearing up the legal definition of

sexual harassment would discourage and punish harassers and bring

comfort to the victims. Here are some points to remember in deciding

when sexual harassment takes place: Sexual harassment is one-sided and


* It is about power and not attraction.

* It happens over and over again.

* It gets worse.

* Subtle sexual behavior is sometimes socially acceptable, but some

would consider it offensive and want it stopped.

* Moderate sexual behavior is not socially acceptable, reasonable

people would want it stopped.

* Severe sexual behavior is never acceptable. (Swisher 28)

Sexual harassment is a major problem in public schools,

colleges, and universities. Surveys on college campuses show the

number of respondents reporting to have been sexually harassed

ranging from 40-70 percent. Only two percent of campus harassment

cases involve a professor demanding sex in return for a good grade.

Most cases involve male and female students.

In public schools current sexual harassment definitions are

inappropriate, since bad sexual behavior of today's children isn't

sexual harassment, but it is a reflection of the vulgar, violent, and

the sexually explicit nature of our media and culture. When little

six-year-old children get suspended from school for kissing girls on

the cheek, it is not an example of sexual harassment but of political

correctness gone wild.

Sexual harassment is still a big problem in schools and

every school district in Washington now has an antiharassment policy.

"Junior high or middle school has the biggest problem with sexual

harassment mainly because of their immaturity and out-of-control

hormones". Says Viki Simmons of the YWCA. "Many times in high

school, students don't think anything about it when harassment

happens, but schools are now cracking down on it". (Simmons interview)

In the business world employers are now on notice that sexual

harassment will no longer be tolerated in the workplace. Claims

brought against...
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