The Different Types Of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is any form of harassment, bullying or unethical behavior that has sexual connotations. One of the prime examples of sexual harassment is asking for sexual favors in exchange of services that should be provided without such unethical attitude. There are is a wide range of activities that fall under the category of sexual harassment, from passing inappropriate comments to full-fledged physical assault.
Any kind of unwanted sexual advances, asking for sexual favors and unethical verbal and physical behavior fall under sexual harassment. Some of the various conditions for a legitimate case of sexual harassment are mentioned below.
- Unethical conduct during the process of employment, education or living conditions provided by any organization. Unethical conduct during education and enlisting other public services.
- When the acceptance or refusal of sexual favors directly impacts, the working conditions, employment, living conditions, acceptance into a community and career opportunities.
- Any kind of attitude with sexual inclinations that create a hostile work environment or affects the performance of the person is categorized as sexual harassment.
- Behavior of the accused is sufficiently severe and damaging to cause hostility, dismal working conditions or loss of peace of mind due to verbal and physical assault. Added to this, persistence of such unethical behavior despite being notified by the victim constitutes one of the highest forms of sexual harassment.
Various types of sexual harassment
There are two major types of sexual harassment. The first is called "quid pro quo" and the second is known as "hostile work environment." The easiest to identify among these is quid pro quo. The term literally means "this for that" and is used to identify sexual harassment cases where sexual favors are asked in return for services and various kinds of opportunities. Some of the various cases that fall under the category of quid pro quo include – asking for sexual favors for promotion, career opportunities and employment. Any kind of sexual favors that are demanded by people in positions of power fall under this category. A classic example of quid pro quo harassment involves a boss asking for sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or a salary raise.
Factors that contribute to a hostile work environment are harder to deal with due to the wide range of unethical behaviors that lead to sexual harassment. It is usually used to classify speech and physical conduct that contributes to negative or unsafe sexual behavior and establishes a deeply uncomfortable and unsafe working environment. Everyone has the right to work in their field without being sexually objectified. Such behavior not only causes great physical and emotional unrest for the employees but also diminishes the value of the person. Added to this, such hostile work environment tarnishes the image of the organization and causes loss of talented manpower. The difficulty in identifying a hostile work environment rises from the subjectivity of what constitutes as "damaging behavior or speech." Unlike the quid pro quo cases, hostile work environment can be created by anyone, a colleague, a junior or a supervisor. It is not just limited to people in power. Most companies maintain a list of phrases and activities that are prohibited within the premises of the organization. This works as a guideline for proper conduct within the offices of the organization. Some of the important factors and rules related to sexual harassment that are mentioned by most common sexual harassment committees include-
- The victim and harasser, both can be of any gender be it man or woman.
- The harasser can be an employee in the office from a co-worker, boss, colleague from another department or the janitor.
- The conduct of the harasser must be damaging and unwelcome.