Recently sexual harassment has been a prevalent topic on both social media and in the news. Over the last several years there has been various attempts made to raise awareness on these issues, from what it is, and the effects that it can have on its victims.
Even with company training and the bounty of information regarding this subject it’s still common practice but why? There are many misconceptions out there about what is sexual harassment and what is not.
Sexual harassment can vary from sexual comments, actual sexual propositions, and advance to coerced or forced unwanted touching and sexual assault. But there must be some sort of power play at hand as well.
The harasser must be putting the victim in a position where they feel as though they don’t have another option but to consent. Also, sexual harassment doesn’t not discriminate, the victim can be both male or female, and from any race or background.
It is impossible to know what the true number of cases are because often they go unreported.
But, why is this still so common?
One reason is the perpetrator has the false mentality that the sexual encounter is somehow owed to them, or that they are irresistible. The need to feel powerful also plays a huge role.
They want to feel in control of their victims. Often, they are led by these feelings that they deserve this to the point that they will do whatever is necessary to achieve this sexual conquest.
Often these are people who don’t believe the rules apply to them. They are above these moral standards and don’t believe that what they are doing is wrong.
They can even manipulate their perspective of the situation to justify that they weren’t doing anything wrong. In the fields that are still predominately male you will find that the rate of reported sexual harassment is increased compared to one that has more equality among genders. Another contributing factor is the perpetrators lack of empathy towards the victim.
They may not think about the impact their actions have on the victim. Moving forward the best way to cut down on the amount of sexual harassment is the continued awareness and the willingness of victims to come forward.
- Sexual harassment is a topical issue but the psychology of harassers is poorly understood.
- The roots of sexual harassment lie in the power dynamics in social and professional situations.
- Typical harassers are usually narcissistic or psychopathic, disengaged from morality, employed in a male-dominated industry, and sexist.
“To sum it all up, harassment indicates a willingness to exploit and manipulate as a way to maintain or gain power.”