ابعاد آزار و اذیت جنسی ادراک شده: اثرات جنسیت و وضعیت/شهوت و میل از شخصیت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37481||2001||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6811 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 30, Issue 3, February 2001, Pages 525–539
Abstract We explored individual differences in males’ and females’ perceptions of potentially sexually harassing male behaviours in two studies, using a questionnaire design. In the first study, based on perceptions of an undergraduate population, principal components analysis supported the hypothesis of two independent dimensions: unwanted sexual attention (e.g. touching and kissing) and gender harassment (e.g. crude and sexist remarks). Results for the liked/disliked boss factor, indicated that male and female respondents rated both forms of sexual harassment as more serious by a disliked boss than by a liked boss; but males rated gender harassment as less serious than females. In the second study, based on employees working in a university setting, males once again took a more charitable view of gender harassment, but not unwanted sexual attention; and, compared with females, males believed sexual harassment to be less common in the workplace. Male/female respondents also rated seriousness in relation to three levels of status (boss, colleague, subordinate): across both dimensions, the order of rated seriousness for status of protagonist (colleague<subordinate<boss) suggested that the appropriateness of the behaviour in terms of the situation was important. Results from both studies indicate that subjective factors play an influential role in the designation of male behaviour as ‘sexually harassing’. Findings are discussed in terms of proximal-level attribution theory and ultimate-level evolutionary theory. Implications of these data and theories for workplace interventions are outlined.
. Introduction In this paper we report two studies concerned with male and female respondents’ perceptions of sexually harassing male behaviours. The first study was conducted in a student population, and the second study extended this investigation to a workplace setting. The findings contribute to the debate concerning gender biases in perceptions of acceptable and unacceptable male behaviours at work. We discuss these data in terms of proximal-level attributional theory and ultimate-level evolutionary theory. In recent years sexual harassment has emerged from the ‘backroom to the courtroom and from fun to fines’ (Coles, 1986). Although not clearly recognised as an important work issue before the mid-1970s (Brewer & Berk, 1982), there is now an increasing awareness of the widespread nature of sexual harassment, and an appreciation of its effects on both victims and organisations (Fitzgerald and Schullman, 1993, Schneider et al., 1997 and Tinsley and Stockdale, 1993). For example, Jensen and Gutek (1982) reported that 20% of victims experienced depression, 80% disgust, and 68% anger. Financial damages awarded against companies have also been large (Terpstra & Cook, 1985); and there are hidden costs associated with decreased work efficiency, absenteeism, and turnover (Gutek and Koss, 1993, Lach and Gwartney-Gibbs, 1993 and Terpstra and Baker, 1989). Hidden costs to the organisation may in fact be far higher than generally recognised because sexual harassment is under-reported (Brooks & Perot, 1991). Exposure to both direct and indirect sexual harassment may have important implications in terms of job stress and impaired occupational performance (Glomb, Richman, Hulin & Drasgow, 1997). Whilst accepting the reality of sexual harassment in the workplace, and its associated personal and commercial costs, the theoretical and empirical bases of the concept of sexual harassment remains ambiguous (Pryor, 1985; see Lengnick-Hall, 1995, for a review of the methodological problems in this literature). In particular, the conceptualisation of harassment, and the range of behaviours included under this heading, along with the factors that influence perceptions of harassment, remain in need of further clarification. The concept of sexual harassment is used in a number of different ways. For example (1) to define any sexually-oriented behaviour initiated by males and directed towards females; (2) to describe the process by which male superiors exercise gender-based power over female subordinates; and (3) as a quasi-legal category to classify accusations that de facto gender-specific behaviours constitute sexual harassment, irrespective of whether such behaviour is de jure sexual harassment (see Cleveland & Kerst, 1993, for a review of this literature). However, the view that male-initiated sexually-oriented behaviour in the workplace automatically constitutes ‘harassment’ is of dubious theoretical utility; in order to avoid circularity of argument, perceptions of sexual harassment cannot be used as the sole definition of harassment. As we are concerned with male behaviour directed towards females, and in order to avoid confusion, neutral terms are used throughout this paper to designate the male initiator (the ‘protagonist’) and the targeted female (the ‘target’). Most countries adopt a broadly similar framework for defining sexual harassment, in terms of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature which become, either implicitly or explicitly, a condition of continued employment or future progression. The identification of behaviour as sexually harassing is seen from the perspective of the ‘reasonable person’; that is, it is assumed that most people of both genders view certain forms of behaviour as constituting sexual harassment. Such sexually harassing behaviours unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work performance, creating an intimidating hostile or offensive work environment. Although useful as a general framework of sexual harassment, such definitions do not define what is perceived to be an act of sexual harassment; and nor is it obvious that the ‘reasonable man’ and the ‘reasonable woman’ would necessarily agree on these definitions ( Browne, 1997). Various theoretical positions have been advanced over the years to explain the dynamic nature of sexual harassment. The development and termination of male–female relations may be seen as a complex process of social exchange (Roloff, 1981); and whilst this is true in the workplace, as well as in the wider society, work environments are unique in that they entail power relations between subordinates and superordinates, and reward structures that determine pay, promotion, job satisfaction, etc. Sexual harassment has accordingly been seen as a form of behavioural social control, exercised by men to subjugate women at work (see Pryor, 1985, and Gutek & Morasch, 1982, for a review of this literature). Sexual harassment is not a unitary concept and can be divided into: (1) unwanted sexual attention, where the protagonist requests sexual activity; and (2) gender harassment (broadly referred to as sexism), where the protagonist creates an unpleasant and intimidating work environment ( Bennett-Alexander and Pincus, 1985 and Fitzgerald et al., 1995). In practice, unwanted sexual attention, wanted sexual attention, and gender harassment are difficult to differentiate; although, in many, instances, there is a clear-cut definition of certain behaviours (at the extreme, sexual harassment represents coercion, assault and rape). One perspective that takes account of the social nature of interpersonal relations in the workplace is the attributional bias model. This model may be useful in explaining the substantial subjective element of rated seriousness of sexually-oriented acts. Of particular value in this regard may be the fundamental attribution error (Ross, 1977), where others’ behaviour is seen as being more person-caused, while one’s own behaviour is seen as being more situation-caused. Situation effects in female–male relations may thus be perceived by the male protagonist as a ‘come-on’, where the female target is seen an agent of her behaviour (e.g. wearing sexually attractive clothes, demanded by the job role). Perceptions of sexual harassment may also differ according to a subjective perception of the appropriateness of the situation. Previous research indicates that sexual harassment is regarded as more serious when the protagonist is in a position of authority over the target, is married and older, and if the target is homosexual; and sexually-oriented behaviours are rated less serious if there is a pre-existing sexual relationship between the protagonist and target, or if the target has engaged in suggestive behaviour (Pryor, 1985). The perception of ‘suggestive behaviour’ may also be influenced by attributional errors. In line with the fundamental attributional error hypothesis, there is evidence that males are more likely than females to attribute blame to the target and to recommend lighter punishment; and both males and females attribute more blame to targets who do not complain than to those that do complain (Kanekar & Dhir, 1993). An attributional perspective may also help to elucidate labelling of behaviour and resulting coping strategies. ‘Harassing’ behaviour from bosses who are liked may be perceived as less serious than the same behaviour from bosses who are disliked, whose behaviour may be immediately labelled as threatening. That is, negative behaviour from liked bosses may be attributed to external factors (i.e. ‘that’s not like him’), as opposed to a disliked boss where the attribution may be more to internal factors (i.e. ‘isn’t that just like him’). The coping strategies used to deal with such behaviour may similarly be influenced by liking for boss. For example, with a liked boss, she may engage in appeasement; with a disliked boss, more external strategies may be employed (e.g. lodging a complaint, or telling workmates about boss’s behaviour). Whilst subjective assessments may be explained by alternative models (e.g. social exchange theory, which provides a calculus of the costs and benefits of an interaction, Jones & Remland, 1992), the attributional error model may be seen to have more theoretical appeal because it has the power to provide insights into the cognitive biases underlying perceptions of sexual harassment. Whereas the social exchange theory may help to explain behaviour that is classified as sexual harassment, when the cost to the target outweighs the benefit, and thus may be useful in determining the objective seriousness of male harassing behaviours, the attributional error approach may be more useful in explaining why there are subjective differences in the perceived seriousness of the same act when the situation changes. According to the attribution bias model, sexually-oriented behaviour between males and females in non-work relationships is more acceptable than in work relationships. Therefore, unwanted sexual attention by bosses who are disliked may be perceived as being inappropriate, and thus perceived to be more serious because the cause of this behaviour is attributed to the internal and stable personality characteristics of the protagonist (i.e. the fundamental attribution error as seen from the target’s perspective). Similar behaviour by liked bosses may be perceived as being more acceptable within a male–female friendship outside of work and thus be perceived to be less serious; the cause of this behaviour may thus be attributed to appropriate personality characteristics of the protagonist. This attributional model is an example of proximal-level explanations. We may also ask why such biases exist at all; answers to this question come from consideration of ultimate-level explanations. Where sexual relations exist between males and females, the obvious place to look for such ultimate-level answers are in Darwinian evolutionary theory, which makes specific predictions concerning males’ and females’ attitudes and behaviours concerning sexual matters (for a review of Darwinian theory for psychological and legal processes, see Browne, 1997). Attributional errors may also be expected to help clarify the two main common forms of sexual harassment in terms of their perceived seriousness. Unwanted sexual attention could be expected to be rated as serious by both males and females because the concept is clear to members of both genders. In contrast, gender harassment appears open to differential interpretation between the genders ( Lengnick-Hall, 1995) because males may explain away this behaviour as harmless activity whereas females will be more likely to attribute the negative behaviour to internal characteristics of the male protagonist. (We are not assigning these attributional processes only to male protagonists: female-initiated sexual harassment could also be explained by these processes.) It is also possible that differences in the perception of the seriousness of sexually harassing behaviours result from differences in the target’s relationship to the protagonist. In assessing the seriousness of relatively common acts of male sexual harassment, three perspectives are possible: (1) males can assess the seriousness of the act only with reference to a female third party; whereas (2) females can assess seriousness with reference either (a) to a female third party, in the same way as males, or (b) to their first-hand reactions to being on the receiving end of sexual harassment. In order to address the above issues, two questionnaire-based studies were undertaken in which male and female respondents rated the seriousness of various common types of sexually-oriented male behaviours towards females.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی