Beyond targets: consequences of vicarious exposure to misogyny at work

J Appl Psychol. 2007 Sep;92(5):1254-1269. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.5.1254.


The present study tested a model examining 2 indicators of a hostile interpersonal workplace climate for women-observed hostility (i.e., incivility and sexual harassment) toward women and perceived organizational unresponsiveness to sexual harassment--and how they relate to well-being and withdrawal for employees. Participants included 871 female and 831 male employees from a public university. According to structural equation analyses, observing hostility toward women and perceiving the organization as lax about harassment predict lower well-being, which translates into higher organizational withdrawal for both female and male employees. Results hold even after controlling for personal mistreatment, negative affectivity, and observed hostility toward men. These findings suggest that working in a misogynistic environment can have negative effects for all employees.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Social Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*