Shifting paradigm of globalization and liberalization in the society has increased the women’s participation in the work force to contribute to family income. Women are then endangered to sexual harassment which is, perhaps, as old as the very existence of women and this is one of those problems which discourage them in taking active part in economic and social development of the society (Naveed et al. 222). The increasing cases of sexual harassment today also increased the awareness of the society, thus, more and more women came out to make legal cases against their harassers.
What are the factors that affect or determine sexual harassment? One of the known factors that determine sexual harassment would be that of gender. Research has shown that a person’s gender impacts his or her perceptions of sexual harassment. Moreover, women are often more sensitive than men to what constitutes sexual harassment and they often judge the same behavior to be more serious (Fiedler and Blanco 276). So, what was offensive to a woman may not be that of a deal to a man and they usually do not file a case as compared to that of women. In addition to this, culture was also identified as a factor. Different countries have different cultural takes on sexual harassment and, therefore, would have different laws about it. Perceptions on what constitutes sexual harassment vary among and within societies; somehow they depend on how people are socialized within that society, the existence of gender stereotypes, and set notions and hierarchies that may exist in the workplace. And it is because of these reasons that make it hard to compile a list of harassing conduct that should be prohibited. Some acts are easily identified as harassment, like kissing, fondling and physical contact with genital areas, while many other kinds of verbal, non-verbal, physical conduct may not (AWARE 11).
The victims ...