Sex Roles

, Volume 32, Issue 3–4, pp 125–137 | Cite as

The responses of African American women firefighters to gender harassment at work

  • Janice D. Yoder
  • Patricia Aniakudo


The purpose of the present study is to describe the responses of African American women firefighters to sexual and gender harassment. Surveys and interviews of 22 firefighters nationwide uncovered universal exposure to harassment. Contrary to prior studies, most of which involved white college students and white collar workers, all these firefighters used externally focused, direct response strategies. Nineteen women directly confronted the harasser; of these, ten responded aggressively, including four women who countered physical harassment in kind. Their stories suggested that most found their strategy to be effective at stopping the present harassment and deterring future occurrences. While few firefighters reported positive work relations, these may have been a precursor to, rather than a result of, their direct response patterns.


College Student Social Psychology Response Pattern American Woman African American Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice D. Yoder
    • 1
  • Patricia Aniakudo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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