Sexual harassment is discrimination based on sex. As an ideology, it can also be described as a statement asserting that one gender is naturally better to the other. All types of gender-based discrimination, including sexual harassment, are outlawed under the Human Rights Code. Services, goods, and facilities; tenancy of accommodation; contracts; employment; as well as membership in vocational organisations such as trade unions, are all covered by the Code. A person’s capacity to work, live, acquire an education, feel secure, and participate fully in society might be limited if sexual harassment is allowed to go unchecked. Lack of prevention measures for sexual harassment can result in significant expenditures, including lost productivity, lowered morale, higher absences and cost of healthcare, as well as possible legal expenses for the company concerned.
Sexual harassment is always defined as an act of sexual assault. In the legal sense, sexual harassment may be defined as the use of sexually suggestive or disparaging statements directed towards a certain sex, but this is not always the case, depending on the context and frequency. The border between bothersome courtship advances and sexual harassment isn’t clear-cut. It is even more difficult to quantify the degree of sexual harassment because people respond differently to objectively similar treatment. Females tend to use the word sexual harassment only when discussing more serious types of harassment, such as sexual assault.
There is widespread sexual harassment in society, regardless of whether it occurs in a home, school, or job. The harassment of women by men serves to preserve the dominance of men over women in both the individual and communal levels, regardless of the context in which it occurs. Sex harassment is a problem that affects people from all walks of life. A business leader or a labourer in a factory can both be affected (Sue et.al,2017). A growing number of people are recognizing that gender-based harassment is part of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment has the potential to have catastrophic and long-lasting consequences. Sexual harassment victims may face a wide range of physical and mental repercussions, such as anxiety, depression, exhaustion, losing weight, sickness and gastrointestinal problems, difficulty sleeping, disengagement from relationships, self-blame, diminished ego, and comment stress disorder.
In contrast to verbal and physical sexual harassment, virtual sexual harassment can have a variety of different motives. It is common for people to post sexually explicit images or information online in an attempt to humiliate the victim. They may know the individual, have been rejected in person, and are now retaliating in the form of cyberbullying. Virtual sexual harassment, on the other hand, can quickly escalate.
People can say things they wouldn’t say in person because the assailant and victim have no physical contact. Co-workers can overcome their shyness by sending sexually explicit emails rather than approaching them in person. It’s possible that other harassments, even if they don’t know the victim, may add to the flames of a public post by the harasser. As the authors point out, “the online posters may not know exactly who the victims are” and “there is always the option to hop off at any time.” One victim may be harassed by a group of harassers, although in “conventional” sexual harassment, one harasser and one or more victims were the norm.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is one of the few ethical concerns where men and women view it differently. Many corporations have reacted to costly court rulings by becoming more concerned about avoiding harassment before it occurs. Many sexual harassment training programs, on the other hand, have only resulted in a shaky peace between the sexes. As a result, they have often merely highlighted the variations in how men and women view the issues at hand (Maypole et al,1983). Many males still believe that the issue isn’t as serious as many women describe it to be.
There is a perception among many males that women are overly sensitive to innocent jokes and flirtatious gestures, and that they charge harassment too early. To avoid getting in trouble or losing their jobs, many men in the office have adopted a bunker mentality and grudgingly “walk on eggs” around female co-workers. In spite of all of the attention that has been paid to the subject and the fact that many women remain enraged by the pervasiveness of harassment in the workplace, they feel that males still “simply don’t get it.”
Women have historically been prejudiced against and are disproportionately affected by sexual and domestic violence, which may explain some of the divergent views on this issue that have been expressed in court. In light of these findings, some proponents of an “ethic of care” would suggest that one further reason for the variation in how men and women view sexual harassment is due to theorized disparities in how both genders see and resolve ethical difficulties.
Many industries and organizations are still plagued with sexual harassment despite years of awareness, legal action, as well as advocacy efforts. Sexual harassment is a problem in every industry, and its effects are felt across the board. Numerous victims suffer harm to their health, well-being, financial security, and career prospects as a result of sexual harassment, and organizations bear the financial burden as well as the production, morale, efficiency, and talent that are lost as a result. The interaction of power and gender is at the root of all forms of sexual harassment, and it can be found at practically every level of the business.
Scheff, Sue, and Melissa Schorr. Shame nation: The global epidemic of online hate. Sourcebooks, Inc., 2017.
Maypole, Donald E., and Rosemarie Skaine. “Sexual harassment in the workplace.” Social Work 28.5 (1983): 385-390.