Perceptions of Sexual Harassment Victims as a Function of Labeling and Reporting

Perceptions of Sexual Harassment Victims as a Function of Labeling and Reporting Sexual harassment scenarios were used to examinethe effects of labeling and reporting on perceptions ofsexual harassment victims. Whether the woman in thescenario labeled the act as sexual harassment and whether she reported the incident to alegitimate authority were manipulated in a 2 × 2× 2 between subjects design. Participants were 113(63 male, 50 female) Arizona State Universityundergraduate psychology students. The majority of theparticipants were Caucasian (69%) with the remainingethnic breakdown as follows: Asian (12%), Hispanic (8%),African American (6%), Native American (2%), and Other (3%). It was hypothesized that the act oflabeling and reporting would be perceived as incongruouswith social- and gender-role norms and subsequentlywould lead to less favorable evaluations of the target. In general, the data were consistent with theexpectancy violation hypothesis, which predicts that theviolation of stereotype-based expectations will causenegative evaluations of a target (Jussim, Coleman, & Lerch, 1987). Women who used the sexualharassment label were attributed greater blame for theincident and were viewed as less trustworthy and lessfeminine. Although women who reported sexual harassment were perceived as higher in qualities ofassertiveness, they too were perceived as lesstrustworthy and less feminine. Additional resultssuggest that both men and women thought that members ofthe opposite gender would derogate the woman if she labeledand/or reported the incident. Implications of expectancyviolation processes for the reporting of sexualharassment are discussed. Sex Roles Springer Journals

Perceptions of Sexual Harassment Victims as a Function of Labeling and Reporting

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 1999 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
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