The epidemiological reality of the frightful data that "as many as one of every two women will be subjected to some form of harassment during her academic or working life must not be and cannot be ignored."

"The enormity of such figures is difficult to grasp, indicating that millions of women are subjected to experiences ranging from insult to assault – many on an ongoing or recurring basis – as the price of earning a living."

It is note worthy that most if not all of the research into this phenomenon has been conducted by psychologists, "who have generated increasingly sophisticated studies of topics such as the structure, definition, and measurement of harassment (Fitzgerald, 1990; Fitzgerald et al. 1988; Fitzgerald and Itesson – McInnis, 1989);…;gender difference in perceptions of sexually harassment behavior (Adams, Kottke O Padgitt…)"

Randy Hodson, a professor of Sociology at Ohio State University has co-authored a study entitled:

"Women Experience more Sexual Harassment in Work Groups with Male, Female Balance"

Hodson notes that despite common assumptions new research suggests that women are not more likely to be sexually harassed when they are the minority or majority in a work group.  Instead researchers found that in most cases, women were sexually harassed at work when their work group had a similar proportion of males and females."

A study looking at 110 work groups from around the world found that women who work in relatively equally matched gender groups were more likely to be harassed than women who worked in predominantly male or female groups.  Women in these situations were more likely to experience taunting, patronizing, and predatory behaviors."

It is highly important that employers stay current on the latest research findings in order to understand group dynamics and how to protect their companies from potential sexual harassment law suits.

For topic specific information contact MVP at (51) 558-3495

More next week…