This article reports on a study of perceptions of sexual harassment when a victim offers verbal resistance, and introduces the theoretical application of the notion that women sometimes use token resistance to sexual attention. Perceptions of sexual harassment were examined based on a vignette in which physical or verbal harassment and victim's facial expression were varied. Participants were 337 undergraduates (91% European American, 5% African American, 1% Hispanic American, 1% Asian American). Perceptions of sexual harassment were stronger for physical harassment than verbal harassment, except when the target smiled. Overall, women had stronger perceptions of harassment than did men. Also, a stronger belief in women's use of token resistance to sex was associated with weaker perceptions of sexual harassment. These findings suggest that a number of factors influence perceptions of harassment, even when a victim verbally resists.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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