Factors affecting perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Factors affecting perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace


Author: Lo, Ka-man Carmen
Title: Factors affecting perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1998
Subject: Sexual harassment
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: ix, 84, [13] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
OneSearch: https://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/bib/b1446573
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3184
Abstract: This research project is an exploratory study which investigates how one interprets potentially harassing behaviour of a sexual nature which occurs in ambiguous situations. Data were collected from 169 past-time postgraduate students of the Polytechnic University and their colleagues, in response to 6 versions of a vignette describing an interaction between a male and a female who worked for the same organization. Variables manipulated included (1) setting - sexualized work vs neutral work vs social setting; (2) physical attractiveness of the target (harasee) - two photographs were provided as stimulus materials, depicting a more attractive female and a less attractive one. Two moderating variables, namely, (i) individual's previous experience of sexual harassment; (ii) individual's own attitude towards sexual harassment, were also measured to ascertain its effects on a person's evaluation of the behaviour. Results revealed major effects on settings, pointing to the fact that respondents perceived the behaviour as more harassing if it occurs in a sexualized work setting than if it occurs in a neutral work setting or a social setting. However, respondents did not exhibit a significant difference in their evaluation despite the attractiveness of the harasee. Insignificant moderating relationship was found between the respondents' previous experience and their judgment of sexual harassment; and similarly there was insignificant moderating relationship between their attitude towards sexual harassment and their evaluation of the ambiguous behaviour. Contrary to previous studies, there were no gender differences amongst respondents in their judgment of behaviour as harassing.

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