Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The Equal Employment Opportunity Guidelines on Sexual Harassment identify six factors that are relevant in determinations of sexual harassment. This study attempted to determine if three of these factors (i.e., frequency of harassment, number of victims and number of perpetrators) drive perceptions of what constitutes sexual harassment. Participants role-playing jurors on an hostile environment sexual harassment case demonstrated no differences in perceptions as a function of number of victims or number of perpetrators. The significant effect for frequency of harassment was not in the hypothesized direction, with less frequent harassment being perceived as more likely to constitute sexual harassment. The well-documented gender difference in perceptions of sexual harassment was observed in this study. However, analyses indicated that women are more likely to perceive a situation as sexually harassing because they are more feminine, not simply because of their gender.


Gender and Sexuality | Industrial and Organizational Psychology