sexual harassment


Summary: A form of discrimination in the workplace which violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Offensive sexual conduct may include unwelcome advances, comments, touching, questions about marital status and sex practices, etc. Both men and women may be aggressors or victims. (Slee and Slee, Health Care Terms, 2d ed, p.404). While civil rights legislation deals with sexual harassment in the workplace, the behavior is not restricted to this; it may take place outside the work environment: in schools and colleges, athletics, and other social milieus and activities.

Top Publications

  1. Madison J, Minichiello V. The contextual issues associated with sexual harassment experiences reported by registered nurses. Aust J Adv Nurs. 2004;22:8-13 pubmed
    The study aimed to explore contextual conditions in Australian health care workplaces that make sex-based and sexual harassment (SB&SH) a relatively common experience for registered nurses (RNs)...
  2. Celik Y, Celik S. Sexual harassment against nurses in Turkey. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2007;39:200-6 pubmed
    To identify the prevalence and sources of sexual harassment against nurses in Turkey, its consequences, and factors affecting harassment experiences. Descriptive survey...
  3. Puri M, Cleland J. Assessing the factors associated with sexual harassment among young female migrant workers in Nepal. J Interpers Violence. 2007;22:1363-81 pubmed
    This article explores the extent of, and factors associated with, sexual harassment of young female migrant workers in the carpet and garment factories in Kathmandu Valley...
  4. Marsh J, Patel S, Gelaye B, Goshu M, Worku A, Williams M, et al. Prevalence of workplace abuse and sexual harassment among female faculty and staff. J Occup Health. 2009;51:314-22 pubmed
    To determine the one year prevalence of workplace abuse and sexual harassment and to determine the extent of their associations with symptoms of depression...
  5. Krieger N, Chen J, Waterman P, Hartman C, Stoddard A, Quinn M, et al. The inverse hazard law: blood pressure, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, workplace abuse and occupational exposures in US low-income black, white and Latino workers. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:1970-81 pubmed publisher
    ..hazards (dust, fumes, chemical, noise, ergonomic strain) and social hazards (racial discrimination, sexual harassment, workplace abuse)...
  6. Sfikas P. Who's liable when an employee quits because of sexual harassment? Supreme Court to rule on employers' liability for supervisors' conduct. J Am Dent Assoc. 2004;135:657-60 pubmed
  7. Maida A, Vasquez A, Herskovic V, Calderón J, Jacard M, Pereira A, et al. A report on student abuse during medical training. Med Teach. 2003;25:497-501 pubmed
    ..Efforts should be addressed to prompt educators to reflect on their role. ..
  8. Cortina L, Wasti S. Profiles in coping: responses to sexual harassment across persons, organizations, and cultures. J Appl Psychol. 2005;90:182-92 pubmed
    This study explicates the complexity of sexual harassment coping behavior among 4 diverse samples of working women: (a) working-class Hispanic Americans, (b) working-class Anglo Americans, (c) professional Turks, and (d) professional ..
  9. Rademakers J, van den Muijsenbergh M, Slappendel G, Lagro Janssen A, Borleffs J. Sexual harassment during clinical clerkships in Dutch medical schools. Med Educ. 2008;42:452-8 pubmed publisher
    b>Sexual harassment of medical students has been the focus of many international studies. Prevalence rates from 18% to over 60% have been reported. However, a Dutch study at Nijmegen Medical School found the prevalence rate to be lower (13...

More Information


  1. McCabe M, Hardman L. Attitudes and perceptions of workers to sexual harassment. J Soc Psychol. 2005;145:719-40 pubmed
    The authors investigated how individual factors (age, gender, gender role, past experiences of sexual harassment) and organizational factors (gender ratio, sexual harassment policies, the role of employers) related to workers' attitudes ..
  2. DeSouza E, Ribeiro J. Bullying and sexual harassment among Brazilian high school students. J Interpers Violence. 2005;20:1018-38 pubmed
    Bullying and sexual harassment at school have received recent attention in developed countries; however, they have been neglected in Latin America...
  3. Cortina L. Hispanic perspectives on sexual harassment and social support. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004;30:570-84 pubmed
    ..and cultural psychology literatures, this study examines social-support processes in the context of sexual harassment and Hispanic American culture...
  4. Topa Cantisano G, Morales Domínguez J, Depolo M. Perceived sexual harassment at work: meta-analysis and structural model of antecedents and consequences. Span J Psychol. 2008;11:207-18 pubmed
    Although sexual harassment has been extensively studied, empirical research has not led to firm conclusions about its antecedents and consequences, both at the personal and organizational level...
  5. Paludi M, Nydegger R, Desouza E, Nydegger L, Dicker K. International perspectives on sexual harassment of college students: the sounds of silence. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006;1087:103-20 pubmed
    The incidence, psychological dimensions, reporting, and impact of sexual harassment of college students throughout the world are reviewed...
  6. Witte F, Stratton T, Nora L. Stories from the field: students' descriptions of gender discrimination and sexual harassment during medical school. Acad Med. 2006;81:648-54 pubmed
    Previous studies have documented the prevalence of gender discrimination and sexual harassment during medical training, but very few have examined the behaviors that students perceive as discriminatory or harassing...
  7. Krieger N, Waterman P, Hartman C, Bates L, Stoddard A, Quinn M, et al. Social hazards on the job: workplace abuse, sexual harassment, and racial discrimination--a study of Black, Latino, and White low-income women and men workers in the United States. Int J Health Serv. 2006;36:51-85 pubmed
    This study documents the prevalence of workplace abuse, sexual harassment at work, and lifetime experiences of racial discrimination among the United for Health cohort of 1,202 predominantly black, Latino, and white women and men low-..
  8. Robinson R, Franklin G, Tinney C, Crow S, Hartman S. Sexual harassment in the workplace: guidelines for educating healthcare managers. J Health Hum Serv Adm. 2005;27:501-30 pubmed
    Actionable sexual harassment is defined as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964...
  9. Koehlmoos T, Uddin M, Ashraf A, Rashid M. Homeless in Dhaka: violence, sexual harassment, and drug-abuse. J Health Popul Nutr. 2009;27:452-61 pubmed
    ..the homeless population in Dhaka is known to face extortion, erratic unemployment, exposure to violence, and sexual harassment and to engage in high-risk behaviours. However, this has not been systematically documented...
  10. Nora L, McLaughlin M, Fosson S, Stratton T, Murphy Spencer A, Fincher R, et al. Gender discrimination and sexual harassment in medical education: perspectives gained by a 14-school study. Acad Med. 2002;77:1226-34 pubmed determine male and female medical students' exposures to and perceptions of gender discrimination and sexual harassment (GD/SH) in selected academic and nonacademic contexts...
  11. Larsson C, Hensing G, Allebeck P. Sexual and gender-related harassment in medical education and research training: results from a Swedish survey. Med Educ. 2003;37:39-50 pubmed
    ..the events occurred, which categories of persons had committed the harassment, and other aspects of sexual harassment at the Faculty of Medicine, Gothenburg University...
  12. Street A, Stafford J, Mahan C, Hendricks A. Sexual harassment and assault experienced by reservists during military service: prevalence and health correlates. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2008;45:409-19 pubmed
    The current investigation identified the gender-specific prevalence of sexual harassment and assault experienced during U.S...
  13. Stratton T, McLaughlin M, Witte F, Fosson S, Nora L. Does students' exposure to gender discrimination and sexual harassment in medical school affect specialty choice and residency program selection?. Acad Med. 2005;80:400-8 pubmed
    To examine the role of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in medical students' choice of specialty and residency program...
  14. Lim S, Cortina L. Interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace: the interface and impact of general incivility and sexual harassment. J Appl Psychol. 2005;90:483-96 pubmed
    ..Findings revealed that general incivility and sexual harassment were related constructs, with gender harassment bridging the two...
  15. Sfikas P. Sexual harassment and vicarious liability. J Am Dent Assoc. 2005;136:809-11 pubmed
  16. Campbell R, Greeson M, Bybee D, Raja S. The co-occurrence of childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment: a mediational model of posttraumatic stress disorder and physical health outcomes. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008;76:194-207 pubmed publisher
    ..examined the co-occurrence of childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment in a predominantly African American sample of 268 female veterans, randomly sampled from an urban Veterans ..
  17. DeSouza E, Cerqueira E. From the kitchen to the bedroom: frequency rates and consequences of sexual harassment among female domestic workers in Brazil. J Interpers Violence. 2009;24:1264-84 pubmed publisher
    b>Sexual harassment has been investigated mostly in developed countries. The authors examined frequency rates and consequences of sexual harassment among female domestic workers in Brazil...
  18. Huerta M, Cortina L, Pang J, Torges C, Magley V. Sex and power in the academy: modeling sexual harassment in the lives of college women. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006;32:616-28 pubmed
    The authors build an integrated model of the process by which academic sexual harassment undermines women's well-being; also examined is harasser power as a potential moderator of this process...
  19. Duley S, Fitzpatrick P, Zornosa X, Lambert C, Mitchell A. Dental hygiene students' attitudes toward ethical dilemmas in practice. J Dent Educ. 2009;73:345-57 pubmed, overtreatment of patients, scope of practice, fraud, confidentiality, impaired professionals, sexual harassment, abuse, and health status. The findings, based on responses from 1,165 students at 141 U.S...
  20. Sigal J. International sexual harassment. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006;1087:356-69 pubmed
    This paper on international sexual harassment begins with a presentation of the definitions, models, and consequences of sexual harassment...
  21. Gradus J, Street A, Kelly K, Stafford J. Sexual harassment experiences and harmful alcohol use in a military sample: differences in gender and the mediating role of depression. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2008;69:348-51 pubmed
    Researchers and clinicians alike are interested in the effects of sexual harassment on mental health, including associations with problem drinking...
  22. Stock S, Tissot F. Are there health effects of harassment in the workplace? A gender-sensitive study of the relationships between work and neck pain. Ergonomics. 2012;55:147-59 pubmed publisher
    ..male and female workers and, in particular, to study the relationship between neck pain and intimidation and sexual harassment in the workplace in a representative sample of the Quebec working population...
  23. Rautio A, Sunnari V, Nuutinen M, Laitala M. Mistreatment of university students most common during medical studies. BMC Med Educ. 2005;5:36 pubmed
    ..commonly humiliation and contempt (40%), negative or disparaging remarks (34%), yelling and shouting (23%), sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based mistreatment (17%) and tasks assigned as punishment (13%)...
  24. Das A. Sexual harassment at work in the United States. Arch Sex Behav. 2009;38:909-21 pubmed publisher
    ..Health and Social Life Survey, this study queried the prevalence and risk factors of lifetime workplace sexual harassment among both women and men...
  25. Richman J, Rospenda K, Nawyn S, Flaherty J, Fendrich M, Drum M, et al. Sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse among university employees: prevalence and mental health correlates. Am J Public Health. 1999;89:358-63 pubmed
    This study hypothesized that interpersonal workplace stressors involving sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse are highly prevalent and significantly linked with mental health outcomes including symptomatic distress, the use ..
  26. Lillich T, Webster D, Marshall E, Smith T, Seaver D, Szeluga M. The influence of a workshop on dental students' perceptions about sexual harassment. J Dent Educ. 2000;64:401-8 pubmed
    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a workshop on the sexual harassment perceptions of students at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry...
  27. Jacobs C, Bergen M, Korn D. Impact of a program to diminish gender insensitivity and sexual harassment at a medical school. Acad Med. 2000;75:464-9 pubmed
    To measure the effect of an intervention to reduce gender insensitivity and sexual harassment at one medical school...
  28. Rospenda K, Richman J, Wislar J, Flaherty J. Chronicity of sexual harassment and generalized work-place abuse: effects on drinking outcomes. Addiction. 2000;95:1805-20 pubmed
    This study examined the impact of two forms of interpersonal conflict in the work-place, sexual harassment (SH) and generalized work-place abuse (GWA), on drinking outcomes...
  29. McMaster L, Connolly J, Pepler D, Craig W. Peer to peer sexual harassment in early adolescence: a developmental perspective. Dev Psychopathol. 2002;14:91-105 pubmed
    The goal of this study was to examine sexual harassment in early adolescence...
  30. Einarsen S, Raknes B. Harassment in the workplace and the victimization of men. Violence Vict. 1997;12:247-63 pubmed
    ..Strong correlations were found between exposure to harassment and dissatisfaction with co-worker interaction. ..
  31. Wasti S, Cortina L. Coping in context: sociocultural determinants of responses to sexual harassment. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002;83:394-405 pubmed publisher
    The authors investigated coping responses to sexual harassment across 4 samples of working women from 3 cultures and 2 occupational classes. Complete-link cluster analyses provide preliminary support for D. E. Knapp, R. H. Faley, S. E...
  32. Bergman M, Langhout R, Palmieri P, Cortina L, FItzgerald L. The (un)reasonableness of reporting: antecedents and consequences of reporting sexual harassment. J Appl Psychol. 2002;87:230-42 pubmed
    This study places the reporting of sexual harassment within an integrated model of the sexual harassment process. Two structural models were developed and tested in a sample (N = 6,417) of male and female military personnel...
  33. Swaminathan P. Precarious existence and deteriorating work conditions for women in India: implications for health. New Solut. 2007;17:57-69 pubmed
  34. Cropsey K, Masho S, Shiang R, Sikka V, Kornstein S, Hampton C. Why do faculty leave? Reasons for attrition of women and minority faculty from a medical school: four-year results. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008;17:1111-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The majority of reasons for faculty attrition are amenable to change. Retaining high-quality faculty in medical settings may justify the costs of faculty development and retention efforts. ..
  35. Sofield L, Salmond S. Workplace violence. A focus on verbal abuse and intent to leave the organization. Orthop Nurs. 2003;22:274-83 pubmed
    ..Organizations must adopt zero-tolerance policies for professional verbal abuse. Education and coaching are needed to help nurses to improve their skills when responding to patient-to-nurse and professional-to-professional verbal abuse. ..
  36. Brown L, Rospenda K, Sokas R, Conroy L, Freels S, Swanson N. Evaluating the association of workplace psychosocial stressors with occupational injury, illness, and assault. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2011;8:31-7 pubmed publisher
    ..OIIAs) as a negative outcome associated with worker exposure to generalized workplace abuse/harassment, sexual harassment, and job threat and pressure...
  37. Plaut S, Baker D. Teacher-student relationships in medical education: boundary considerations. Med Teach. 2011;33:828-33 pubmed publisher
    ..Education about boundary issues, including discussion of case vignettes, may help build awareness and thus help foster more balanced teacher-student relationships. ..
  38. Keogh B, Gleeson M. Caring for female patients: The experiences of male nurses. Br J Nurs. 2006;15:1172-5 pubmed
    ..These findings suggest that learning about caring for female patients needs to be included in the undergraduate curriculum and that further research on the experience of men as nurses is required. ..
  39. Koritsas S, Coles J, Boyle M, Stanley J. Prevalence and predictors of occupational violence and aggression towards GPs: a cross-sectional study. Br J Gen Pract. 2007;57:967-70 pubmed publisher
    ..sampled had experienced at least one form of violence and aggression; more female than male GPs experienced sexual harassment; and there was no difference in the number of metropolitan and rural GPs who had experienced violence and ..
  40. Smothers M, Smothers D. A sexual assault primary prevention model with diverse urban youth. J Child Sex Abus. 2011;20:708-27 pubmed publisher change within individuals and the school community by reducing tolerance of sexual violence and sexual harassment. Participants were 5th-12th graders at a school from a Midwest city...
  41. Tettlebaum H, Meyers K. Part II--Sexual misconduct by professionals. Safeguarding yourself and your practice against allegations of sexual abuse or patient impropriety. Mo Med. 2012;109:187-8 pubmed
    ..By drawing boundaries between their personal and professional lives, physicians can protect their practices and themselves while also still achieving their true goal: providing quality care to their patients. ..
  42. Whitehead B. Will graduate entry free nursing from the shackles of class and gender oppression?. Nurs Times. 2010;106:19-22 pubmed
    ..It also examines the profession's social position, arguing thatthe majority of nurses identify with the most oppressed social class. ..
  43. Cudré Mauroux A. Staff attributions about challenging behaviours of people with intellectual disabilities and transactional stress process: a qualitative study. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2010;54:26-39 pubmed publisher
    ..The insertion of research into ecological contexts and the introduction of coping concept regarding staff attributions of challenging behaviours would allow a broader view of the role of attributions. ..
  44. Brown C, Stone E. Gender Stereotypes and Discrimination: How Sexism Impacts Development. Adv Child Dev Behav. 2016;50:105-33 pubmed publisher
    ..STEM) domains; (c) stereotypes and discrimination in sports; (d) peer gendered harassment, including sexual harassment and teasing because of gender atypicality or nonconformity; and (e) sexualized gender stereotypes that ..
  45. Purcell R, Moller B, Flower T, Mullen P. Stalking among juveniles. Br J Psychiatry. 2009;194:451-5 pubmed publisher
    ..The seriousness that is afforded to adult forms of stalking should similarly apply to this behaviour among juveniles given the even greater rates of disruption to the victim's life and risks of being attacked. ..
  46. Wolak J, Finkelhor D, Mitchell K. Is talking online to unknown people always risky? Distinguishing online interaction styles in a national sample of youth Internet users. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2008;11:340-3 pubmed publisher
    ..The aim was to provide a basis for identifying which youth may be most at risk from interacting online with unknown people. ..
  47. Spitzberg B. Reclaiming control in stalking cases. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2003;41:38-45 pubmed
    ..Recommendations are made regarding these strategies. ..
  48. Shrier D. Psychosocial aspects of women's lives: work, family, and life cycle issues. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2003;26:741-57, viii pubmed
  49. Gutek B, Murphy R, Douma B. A review and critique of the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ). Law Hum Behav. 2004;28:457-82 pubmed
    ..a self-report inventory representing the first attempt to assess the prevalence of sexual harassment in a manner that met traditional psychometric standards" (Fitzgerald, Gelfand, & Drasgow, 1995, p...
  50. Wood K. Stalking study: scary. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2008;46:14 pubmed
  51. Topa Cantisano G, Morales Domínguez J, Gallastegui Galán J. [Mobbing: its relationships with organizational culture and personal outcomes]. Psicothema. 2006;18:766-71 pubmed
    ..Results concerning organizational commitment show that this variable is not a mere effect of mobbing in general, but rather that it is also a direct impact of culture on this outcome. ..
  52. Turkel A. Sugar and spice and puppy dogs' tails: the psychodynamics of bullying. J Am Acad Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry. 2007;35:243-58 pubmed
    ..physical in children, becomes relational aggression in adolescents, and often appears in the form of sexual harassment in adulthood. The causes of bullying include the desire to control, revenge, envy, and emotional distress...
  53. Higgins A, Barker P, Begley C. Clients with mental health problems who sexualize the nurse-client encounter: the nursing discourse. J Adv Nurs. 2009;65:616-24 pubmed publisher
    ..These behaviours have been identified, in the literature, as a form of sexual aggression and sexual harassment. Reported responses have included physically avoiding the person, ignoring verbal comments or adopting a no-'..