Workplace Sexual Harassment
Debunking the myths
What does sexual harassment really mean? What are some myths and misconceptions about it? Click on the ‘True’ or ‘False’ icon to answer the following questions and find out how well you understand the meaning of sexual harassment.
- Most sexual harassment is just harmless flirting.Flirting is mutually consensual behaviour in which both parties willingly engage in sexual interaction. If one party finds the other’s sexual behaviour offensive, but the other party persists it, THIS constitutes sexual harassment. This bullying behaviour is used by harassers to intimidate and humiliate their victims.
- Only women are sexually harassed, this does not happen to men. All harassers are male.While most sexual harassment is perpetrated by men against women, there are also cases of harassment by women against men and cases of same sex harassment.
- Successful and respected men do not harass women.Sexual harassment often happens when there is a power disparity between the two individuals involved. The harasser could be anybody – older or younger, single or married, of the same or from a different ethnic background, and of the same or different gender.
- All harassers hold senior positions to their victims.While sexual harassers are often in a position of power, cases of harassment by co-workers are very common. There are also instances of subordinates sexually harassing superiors, as well as harassment by clients perpetrated during work-related activities.
- People harass others because they are sexually attracted to them
- Some women ‘ask’ to be harassed by dressing or acting provocatively.
- Talking about one’s sexual exploits at work in a graphic way is not sexual harassment.
- Sexual harassment charges are usually false in many instances.
- Any unwelcomed touching, sexual comments or sexual attention constitutes sexual harassment.