The Perception of Sexual Harassment in Higher Education: Impact of Gender and Attractiveness

The Perception of Sexual Harassment in Higher Education: Impact of Gender and Attractiveness This experimental study used an ambiguous sexualharassment scenario, and manipulated gender and level ofphysical attractiveness within a perpetrator/victimdyad. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of sexual harassment of maleand female students as well as perceptions ofperpetrator and victim character traits. Twohundred-ninety six male and 295 female undergraduate andgraduate students at a large urban university were askedto read the scenario and describe behavior and charactertraits for perpetrator and victim using a seven-pointsemantic differential scale. Eighty-four percent (n = 495) of the sample were White, 5.3% (n =31) were African American, 5.9% (n = 39) were ofHispanic origin, and 4.7% (n = 28) marked other forrace/ethnicity. Results indicate that female studentsperceived the scenario as more sexually harassing thanmale students. However, both men and women judged femaleperpetrators less harshly than male perpetrators. Bothmen and women were influenced by perpetrator attractiveness: they perceived an attractiveopposite gender perpetrator as less harassing than asame gender attractive perpetrator. Sex Roles Springer Journals

The Perception of Sexual Harassment in Higher Education: Impact of Gender and Attractiveness

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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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