Sexual Harassment Is Stressful For Men Too
More victims of sexual harassment are women, but men are also victimized, both by women and by other men. A study undertaken by by Michigan State University (MSU) looks at how both genders are affected.
MSU researchers examined surveys of 6,000 military men and women from all branches of the military. They found that more than 50 percent of women and almost 20 percent of men had reported at least one incident of sexual harassment during a 12 month period. Researchers categorized the complaints into 16 types of offense, including verbal harassment such as jokes, teasing, and offensive stories, and physical harassment.
After categorizing the types of harassment, researchers sought to find out which types were seen as 'bothersome,' and which were considered 'frightening."
Women did not show distress at what they considered bothersome, but they were distressed at any harassment they viewed as frightening. The men in the study, however, were distressed by any harassment, bothersome or frightening.
The study is the first to examine the effects of sexual harassment on both men and women with the purpose of assessing a harassment victims sense of well-being.
The lead investigator, Isis Settles, said "People tend to underestimate the impact of sexual harassment on men. (Men) "typically haven't had a lifetime of experiences dealing with sexual harassment and may not know how to deal with it when it happens to them."
Although the study does not conclude that sexual harassment is not stressful for women, it does suggest that sexual harassment against women has been so widespread for so long that many women have learned how to deal with the 'bothersome' kind, whereas men have not had that opportunity yet.