Gender harassment: broadening our understanding of sex-based harassment at work

Law Hum Behav. 2011 Feb;35(1):25-39. doi: 10.1007/s10979-010-9241-5.


This study challenges the common legal and organizational practice of privileging sexual advance forms of sex-based harassment, while neglecting gender harassment. Survey data came from women working in two male-dominated contexts: the military and the legal profession. Their responses to the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ) revealed five typical profiles of harassment: low victimization, gender harassment, gender harassment with unwanted sexual attention, moderate victimization, and high victimization. The vast majority of harassment victims fell into one of the first two groups, which described virtually no unwanted sexual advances. When compared to non-victims, gender-harassed women showed significant decrements in professional and psychological well-being. These findings underscore the seriousness of gender harassment, which merits greater attention by both law and social science.

Publication types

  • Legal Case

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Harassment / classification*
  • Sexual Harassment / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Sexual Harassment / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women, Working*
  • Workplace*
  • Young Adult