Sexual Harassment has become a major social concern over the last decade. Sexual harassment is never justified and creates a stressful, uncooperative hostile work environment that is not conductive to a profitable, successful business. Why does sexual harassment take place? Where does sexual harassment occur the most? What are the mental side-effects of sexual harassment, how can victims cope and finally, what can be done to stop sexual harassment in its tracks?
Forensic psychology states that sexual harassment occurs in settings where the harasser requires a renewed sense of power and obtains that power through sexual intimidation, persecution, unwanted advances and unsolicited physical contact. Sexual harassment is the behavior of an abuser and sexual predator. Those who are harassed deserve protection and compensation for their emotional stress, loss of work hours, and mental anguish. Sadly, our work environments are the most likely setting for sexual harassment. This form of harassment takes all shapes and does not discriminate on the basis of sex. While it most likely occurs to the female population, men have and can be victims of sexual harassment.
The harasser can take many forms as well: it could be a supervisor, a fellow employe, or even someone outside of the work environment that has temporary contact with the business. Sexual harassment is any kind of unwanted sexual contact. The exchanges do not have to be physical in nature, but can include jokes, sexual conversations, propositions, emails, letters, and/or gestures. Sexual harassment is a severe form of both sexual and psychological bullying. Sadly, educating individuals about sexual harassment, their rights and what exactly constitutes as sexual harassment within the workplace has been laid aside and forgotten. It is the legal duty for employers and companies to inform their employees of their rights within the workplace and the ability to work in an environment liberated of sexual harassment.
The effects of sexual harassment are profound and affect everyone: the abuser, the victim and the business as a whole. The overall affects vary depending on the people involved, and the extent and duration of the abuse. In all occurrences of sexual harassment, however, the changes are life altering. Sexual harassment can carry the same social and personal side effects as rape and/or sexual assault. Another effect that can often be more taxing than the abuse itself is the aftermath of the harassment. Once attention has been drawn to the harassment, work segregation, backlash, bullying, teasing and even termination of employment can occur. The most common effects of sexual harassment include:
• Loss of job
• Loss of income
• Reduction in job performance
• An increase in missing work
• A serious loss of trust
• Stress in relationships outside of the environment where the harassment is occuring
• Being publicly sexualized
• Losing workplace recommendations
• Weight gain or loss
• Feelings of shame and guilt
• Loss of self-esteem
• Increased stress leading to higher blood pressure and other medical ailments
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This article was written by Allison Gamble who has been a curious student of psychology since high school. She brings her understanding of the mind to work in the weird world of Internet marketing
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