Why are men less likely to report sexual harassment?

When you think of sexual harassment, you may immediately think of male workers harassing or propositioning female coworkers. However, as many men can tell you, men can also face workplace sexually harassment.

It can take a lot for a male employee to complain about sexual harassment. Men may find harassment emasculating. Source: Internet

Most portrayals of sexual harassment will consist of the most commonly understood situation of a male using their position of power to make unwanted sexual advances upon a female coworker with the threat of negative consequences relating to their employment status (also called quid pro quo sexual harassment). While this is one of the more common scenarios of sexual assault in the workplace, The reality of who can sexually harass and/or be harassed is much more complex than this.

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Office, the number of cases of male sexual harassment by women accounted for 16% of all harassment cases. This rate doubled from 1990 to 2007.

Traditional gender roles make it a bit more difficult for men to admit but they can be sexually harassed by women. Sexual harassment can also occur between people of the same gender of both genders.

Sexual harassment does not always have to come from someone who has a position of seniority or a position of power. It is possible for an employee to make unwanted sexual advances upon an employer or superior. Sexual harassment can also come from many sources outside of the usual group of work colleagues. Clients, third party contractors, and total strangers to the workplace can all sexually harass.

Why is the report rate of these cases so low, however, that some people forget that men can also be victims of sexual harassment?

Gender stereotypes in cases of sexual abuse can make men afraid of the consequences of reporting to the police or seeking help.

- They are afraid the other person will react with statements like "Do men have this too?", "You should be able to stop this."

- They feel ashamed and guilty because they think it is their fault of being too “feminine” and not being able to prevent the abuse.

- They hesitate, afraid that no one will believe them because in most cases, the perpetrators of lewd acts are also men. Heterosexual victims are afraid of being considered homosexual, while the homosexual victims worried about being "exposed" or blamed.

In addition, inadequate sex education also makes the victim not knowing how to contact the authorities, or even not knowing that one man groping another man can also violate the law.

Not all employers take the sexual harassment of men seriously, however, and harassment may continue long after a victim reports the misconduct. In addition, an employee may face ridicule and further harassment, transfers to different departments, or other forms of retaliation because of the complaint.

Tu Anh