Study Finds That Most Women Have Been Sexually Harassed
We would like to believe that we live in an age where mistreating another person due to gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other personal characteristic is a thing of the past. Of course, we realize that there will always be certain individuals who behave poorly, but overall, our allegedly “enlightened” society should not have to deal with such problems on a widespread basis. Unfortunately, however, reality does not always match our expectations. A recent study has found that an overwhelming majority of American women will experience some form of sexual harassment before they reach the age of 25.
A Study on Relationships and Sex
A team of researchers from Harvard University conducted in-depth surveys of more than 3,000 high school students and young adults between ages 18 and 25. The study examined how young people approach romantic and sexual relationships based on their personal values and past experiences. While the research covered a variety of topics such as the perception of the so-called “hook-up” culture and concerns about building meaningful romantic relationships, the results revealed some rather disturbing details.
The research team asked participants for their opinions on gender roles and portrayals in our society. About 40 percent of respondents agreed or were neutral regarding the idea that it is “rare to see a woman treated in an inappropriately sexualized manner on television.” Additionally, one-third of young men and one-fifth of young women believed that a man should be dominant in a romantic relationship while only 14 percent of males and 10 percent of females thought a woman should have a more dominant role.
Attitudes Spawn Behavior
While the respondents’ opinions regarding gender roles and portrayals are one thing, it is perhaps even more alarming to learn that such attitudes can have an effect on how women are treated. A full 87 percent of women surveyed said they have experienced at least one example of sexual harassment in their lifetime, including:
- Being catcalled;
- Touched by a stranger without permission;
- Insulted with sexualized words by a man or woman;
- Sexual comments made by a stranger; or
- Being called “hot” by a stranger.
Unfortunately, less than a quarter of respondents said that they have ever had a conversation with their parents about how to prevent and avoid sexually harassing behaviors.
Call Us for Help Today
Preventing destructive attitudes and behaviors begins at home during youth, but adults must be held accountable for their actions. If you have been victimized by inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, contact an experienced DuPage County sexual harassment attorney to discuss your options for taking action. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation today.