The concept of sexual harassment is relatively new; the term was developed in the late 1960's. Sexual harassment has been around long before the 60's, but people had no way or term to describe such actions.
Over the past thirty years, researchers have discovered that women and men interpret sexualized behavior or advances in the workplace very differently. Women are far more likely to label a given situation as harassment. Men report that they would be flattered by sexual attention at work, but women have reported they are annoyed by the similar sexual behavior. Researches point out the different power dynamics between male bosses and female employees may account for such different interpretations.
Some scholars have theorized that since women are more likely the victim of sexual violence, they are more sensitive to sexual behavior at work.
Harassment in the workplace can range from subtle things that create an uncomfortable environment sometime referred to a "chilly climate" to sexual assault and rape.
A "chilly climate" might refer to such things as not being appointed to certain committees, not receiving information on training opportunities, not being considered for promotions. This type of sexual harassment is difficult to document but can significantly affect women's work.
Recently the focus on sexual harassment has moved from "sexual" to "harassment", and the concept has been extended to same-sex harassment. All sexual behavior or references inappropriate in the workplace have been deemed harassment. People have now begun to question all harassment in the workplace, no matter what the context. The concept of harassment has now been extended beyond the workplace to schools and other contexts.
Despite widespread publicity about the dangers of sexual harassment surveys demonstrate that most businesses in the United States have yet addressed the problem. Even though, recent news reports indicate...