Sexual harassment (SH) includes men as harassers and women as victims. It is defined in many Western countries as a criminal offense. However, the social response to SH may be characterized by clear leniency toward harassers. The present study investigated the roots of such response. Respondents from a large, representative, random, Israeli sample (630) were asked to evaluate hypothetical short crime scenarios, constructed by the factorial-survey approach, representing cases of sexual harassment and other offenses. The study hypothesized that respondents’ perceptions of SH scenarios will be affected significantly by their gender-role attitudes to women. The findings indicate that such criminal acts are perceived as serious by the whole public, challenging the consensual basis of the lenient approach to harassers.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 17, 2007
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