Sexual assault by workplace personnel and other types of sexual harassment: A comparison of antecedents and consequences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7, 174-188

Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 61820, USA.
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.07). 05/2002; 7(2):174-88. DOI: 10.1037//1076-8998.7.2.174
Source: PubMed


Although sexual assault by workplace personnel is widely viewed as a type of sexual harassment, little is known about whether these overlapping constructs may possess some unique characteristics. This article compares the theoretical antecedents and consequences of sexual assault by workplace personnel and other types of sexual harassment among 22,372 women employed in the U.S. military. Path analysis revealed that low sociocultural and organizational power are associated with an increased likelihood of both types of victimization. Organizational climate and job gender context are directly associated with sexual harassment but are only indirectly associated with sexual assault by workplace personnel. Both types of victimization are associated with a variety of negative outcomes, but the pattern of negative consequences differs.

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Available from: Alayne J Ormerod, Apr 07, 2014
    • "Second, sexual assault and sexual harassment can have very different legal statuses. While sexual harassment is usually addressed as a civil law matter, sexual assault can also be prosecuted under criminal law (Harned et al., 2002). Future research should consider exploring further these differences in nature and impact. "
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    ABSTRACT: We report a meta-analytic review of studies examining the relations among harmful workplace experiences and women’s occupational well-being. Based on previous research, a classification of harmful workplace experiences affecting women is proposed and then used in the analysis of 88 studies with 93 independent samples, containing 73,877 working women. We compare the associations of different harmful workplace experiences and job stressors with women’s work attitudes and health. Random-effects meta-analysis and path analysis showed that more intense yet less frequent harmful experiences (e.g., sexual coercion and unwanted sexual attention) and less intense but more frequent harmful experiences (e.g., sexist organizational climate and gender harassment) had similar negative effects on women’s well-being. Harmful workplace experiences were independent from and as negative as job stressors in their impact on women’s occupational well-being. The power imbalance between the target and the perpetrator appeared as a potential factor to explain the type and impact of harmful workplace experiences affecting women’s occupational well-being. In the discussion, we identify several gaps in the literature, suggest directions for future research, and suggest organizational policy changes and interventions that could be effective at reducing the incidence of harmful workplace experiences.
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    • "Training effectiveness therefore might differ by branch, but it is unclear how. Lower-ranking military personnel are more likely to experience sexual trauma (Firestone et al. 2012; Harned et al. 2002), so they may have more experience using reporting procedures. Conversely , higher-ranking personnel may have more knowledge of the incidence of sexual assault and reporting procedures, due to chain-of-command protocol for reporting sexual assault (Hillman 2009; Turchik and Wilson 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual assault is an insidious problem in the United States military. In 2005 the Department of Defense (DoD) created the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, which centralizes responsibility for sexual assault training. However, this training initiative has undergone little evaluation by outside researchers. Addressing this need, we analyzed responses from over 24,000 active duty personnel who completed the 2010 DoD Workplace and Gender Relations Survey. We assessed whether sexual assault training exposure (None, Minimal, Partial, or Comprehensive) predicted accurate knowledge of sexual assault resources and protocols. Using a social-ecological framework, we investigated whether institutional and individual factors influenced Service members' training exposure and judgment of training effectiveness. According to our results, exposure to comprehensive training predicted lower sexual assault incidence and superior knowledge. However, comprehensive training differed as a function of military branch, rank, gender, and sexual assault history. Judgments of training effectiveness also varied across these dimensions. Our results highlight the importance of considering context, gender, and victimization history when evaluating institutional efforts to end sexual violence. The DoD's 2010 annual report on military sexual assault concluded that "most Active Duty members receive effective training on sexual assault" (p. 104). Our results cast doubt on that assertion.
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    • "). However, past research suggests that few individuals (the range of reported incidences is from 15%–25%) report sexual assault to authorities (Clay-Warner and Burt 2005; Firestone and Harris 2003; 2008; Harned et al. 2002). Past research also indicated that while both men and women can experience sexual assault, the risk of workplace assault may be higher for women, especially those in male-dominated occupations (Dekker and Barling 1998; Frank et al. 1998; Haavio-Mannila et al. 1998; Sadler et al. 2003). "
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