Article

An overview of the literature on sexual harassment: Perpetrator, theory, and treatment issues

Psychology Department, Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury KENT CT2 7NP, United Kingdom
Aggression and Violent Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.95). 03/2009; 14(2):126-138. DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2009.01.002

ABSTRACT

Sexual harassment has been recognized as a serious problem in the literature over the past 30 years. In this paper, we review the existing research surrounding the phenomenon of sexual harassment, paying particular attention to factors of relevance for understanding perpetrators of sexual harassment. We also provide an overview of the perplexing nature of sexual harassment and the various concerns that have surrounded the topic leading to its recognition. The different theoretical perspectives and models of sexual harassment (sociocultural, organizational, sex-role spillover, natural/biological, socio-cognitive, and four-factor) are also considered and reviewed. Finally, lack of empirical evidence and focus on assessment and treatment for harassers is recognized in this paper, and several suggestions are made for future research and treatment avenues relating to the sexual harasser.

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    • "For example, a lack of control mechanisms can create a culture of permissiveness, which has been found to determine workplace drug and alcohol use (Ames, Grube, and Moore 2000; Bacharach, Bamberger, and Mckinney 2007). Similarly, a permissive organizational climate is one of the strongest empirical predictors of workplace sexual harassment (Bacharach et al. 2007; Pina, Gannon, and Saunders 2009; Willness, Steel, and Lee 2007), workplace bullying, and other forms of workplace aggression (see Salin 2003). "
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    • "The above findings are a testament to the fact that sexual harassment is among the most prevalent forms of sexual aggression (Pina et al., 2009). However, its true incidence is hard to estimate because it is one of the least often reported crimes (Temkin & Krahé, 2008). "
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