In a sample of 431 white-collar professionals, we examined the impact of gender and self-esteem on individuals' intentions to seek legal counsel, confront the harasser, and make formal reports within the organization in response to approach-based same-sex sexual harassment. We hypothesized that gender, self-esteem, and their interaction would be related to assertive responses. All three hypotheses received support: men were more likely than women to respond assertively; self-esteem was positively related to response intentions; and self-esteem had a greater impact on men's responses than on women's responses. These results suggest that frameworks used to describe responses to cross-sex sexual harassment may not be adequate for same-sex sexual harassment. Post hoc analyses revealed that perceiving the behavior as harassment mediated the relationship between self-esteem and the responses to harassment, but did not mediate the relationships between gender and the responses to harassment. These findings contribute to the research on acknowledging sexual harassment.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 2, 2004
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