Three studies were conducted to develop and validate a measure of sexual harassment proclivities in males. Previous studies of sexual harassment were reviewed and a gap in the current knowledge of the psychological characteristics of sexual harassers was revealed. A possible technique for studying sexual harassment proclivities was suggested by recent research on rape proclivities. Two initial studies using this technique found (1) that the likelihood of sexually harassing can be reliably measured and 2) that this measure correlated with related attitude and belief measures. The third study demonstrated that the likelihood of sexual harassment measure can predict sexual behaviors in a laboratory setting.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Abel, G., Barlow, D., Blanchard, E., & Guild, D. The components of rapists' sexual arousal. Archives of General Psychology, 1977, 34, 395–403.
Armor, D. J. Factor scaling and theta reliability. In H. Costner (ed.), Sociological methodology, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1973.
Bem, S. L. The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1974, 42, 155–162.
Berkowitz, N. H., & Wolkon, G. H. A formal choice form of F scale-free of acquiescent response set. Sociometry, 1964, 27, 54–65.
Bernstein, W., Stephenson, B., Snyder, M., & Wicklund, R. Causal ambiguity and heterosexual affiliation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1983, 19, 78–92.
Brewer, M. Further beyond nine to five: An integration and future directions. Journal of Social Issues, 1982, 38, 149–158.
Burt, M. (1978). Attitudes supportive of rape in American culture. House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Domestic and International Scientific Planning Analysis and Cooperation, Research in Violent Behavior: Sexual Assaults. Hearing, 95th Congress, 2nd Session, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, January 10–12, 1978, pp. 277–322.
Burt, M. Cultural myths and supports for rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1980, 38, 217–230.
Chappell, D. Forcible rape and the criminal justice system: Surveying present practices and projecting future trends. In M. J. Walker & S. L. Brodsky (eds.), Sexual assault: The victim and the rapist. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath, 1976.
Christie, R., & Geiss, F. Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press, 1970.
Collins, F. G. C., & Blodgett, T. B. Sexual harassment: Some see it... some won't. Harvard Business Review, 1981, 59, 77–95.
Cronbach, L., & Meehl, P. Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 1955, 52, 281–302.
Crowne, D., & Marlowe, D. The approval motive. New York: Wiley, 1955.
Davis, M. H. A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1980, 10, 85.
Davis, M. H. Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1983, 44, 113–126.
Fisher, W. A., & Byrne, D. Individual differences in affective, evaluative and behavioral responses to an erotic film. Journal of Social Psychology, 1978, 8, 355–365.
Field, H. S. Attitudes toward rape: A comparative analysis of police, rapists, crisis counselors and citizens. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1978, 36, 156–179.
Groth, M. A. Men who rape: The psychology of the offender. New York: Plenum, 1978.
Gutek, B. Experiences of sexual harassment: Results from a representative survey. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Los Angeles, CA, 1981.
Gutek, B. Sex and the workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985.
Gutek, B., & Morash, B. Sex-ratios, sex-role spillover, and sexual harassment of women at work. Journal of Social Issues, 1982, 38, 55–74.
Gutek, B., Morash, B., & Cohen, A. Interpreting social-sexual behavior in a work setting. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1983, 22, 30–48.
Gutek, B. A., Makamura, C. Y., Gahart, M., & Hanschumacher. Sexuality and the workplace. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 1980, 1, 255–265.
Henley, N., & Freeman, J. The sexual politics of interpersonal behavior. In J. Freeman (Ed.), Women: A feminist perspective. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield, 1975.
Jensen, I., & Gutek, B. Attributions and assignment of responsibility in sexual harassment. Journal of Social Issues, 1982, 38, 121–136.
Journard, S., & Rubin, J. Self-disclosure and touching: A study of two modes of interpersonal encounter and their interrelation. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1968, 8, 39–48.
Kelley, H. H., & Michela, J. L. Attribution theory and research. Annual Review of Psychology, 1980, 31, 457–502.
Major, B., & Heslin, R. Perceptions of cross-sex and same-sex nonreciprocal touch: It is better to give than to receive. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 1982, 6, 148–162.
Malamuth, N. Rape proclivity among males. Journal of Social Issues, 1981, 37, 138–157.
Malamuth, N., & Check, J. Penile tumescence and perceptual responses to rape as a function of victim's perceived reactions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1980, 10, 520–547. (a)
Malamuth, N., & Check, J. Sexual arousal to rape and consenting depictions: The importance of woman's arousal. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1980, 14, 763–766. (b)
Malamuth, N., Haber, Sc., & Feshbach, S. Testing hypotheses regarding rape: Exposure to sexual violence, sex differences and the “normality of rape.” Journal of Research in Personality, 1980, 14, 121–137.
Malamuth, N., Heim, M., & Feshback, S. The sexual responsiveness of college students to rape depictions: Inhibitory and disinhibitory effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1980, 38, 399–408.
Medea, A., & Thompson, K. Against rape. New York: Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux, 1974.
Perry, S. Sexual harassment on the campuses: Deciding where to draw the line. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 26, 1983, 21–22.
Pryor, J. B. The lay person's understanding of sexual harassment. Sex Roles, 1985, 13, 273–278.
Reily, P. J. Sexual harassment in the Navy. Unpublished master's thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, 1980.
Rielly, T., Carpenter, S., Dull, V., & Bartlett, K. The factorial survey technique: An approach to defining sexual harassment on campus. Journal of Social issues, 1982, 38, 99–110.
Smith, E., Ferree, M., & Miller, F. A short scale of attitudes toward feminism. Representative Research in Social Psychology, 1975, 6, 51–56.
Snyder, M. L., & Wicklund, R. A. Attribute ambiguity. In J. H. Harvey, W. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (eds.), New directions in attribution research (Vol. 3), Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1981.
Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. Masculinity and femininity: Their psychological dimensions, correlates and antecedants. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978.
Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R., & Holahan, C. M. Negative and positive components of psychological masculinity and femininity and their relationships to self-reports of neurotic and acting-out behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1673–1682.
Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R., & Stapp, J. The Personal Attributes Questionnaire: A measure of sex role stereotypes and masculinity-femininity. JSAS Catalogue of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1974, 4, 43. (Ms No. 617).
Tangri, S., Burt, M., & Johnson, L. Sexual harassment at work: Three explanatory models. Journal of Social Issues, 1982, 38, 111–120.
United States Merit Systems Protection Board. Sexual harassment in the Federal Workplace. Is it a problem? Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1981.
Vogelman-Sine, S., Ervin, E., Christensen, R., Warmsun, C., & Ullman, L. Sex differences in feelings attributed to a woman in situations involving coercion and sexual advances. Journal of Personality, 1979, 47, 420–431.
White, L. A., Fisher, W. A., Byrne, D., & Kingma, R. Development and validation of affective orientation to erotic stimuli: The Sexual Opinion Survey. Paper presented at the meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, May 1977.
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the following people in conducting this research: Mark Chalabala, Mark Colon, Kathy Epkins, Lisa Fix, Dawn Henricksen, Jackie Hind, Carla McPhee, Pat Norman, Rene Reeves, Judona Samuel, and Kevin Spahn. Also, gratitude is expressed to Mark McDaniel for his contributions to the methodology in Study 3 and to Hannah Eisner for her comments on a previous draft of this paper. This research was supported in part by a grant from the office of Research, Services and Grants, Illinois State University.
About this article
Cite this article
Pryor, J.B. Sexual harassment proclivities in men. Sex Roles 17, 269–290 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288453
- Sexual Behavior
- Social Psychology
- Related Attitude
- Current Knowledge
- Initial Study