Sex Roles

, 56:223 | Cite as

Schematic Responses to Sexual Harassment Complainants: The Influence of Gender and Physical Attractiveness

  • Juan M. Madera
  • Kenneth E. Podratz
  • Eden B. King
  • Michelle R. Hebl
Original Article


This study was designed to examine the characteristics of a sexual harassment schema and its consequences using expectancy-violation theory as a framework for investigating an ostensible organizational grievance. Reactions to sexual harassment complainants were expected to be less favorable when the complainant was male than when the complainant was female. Results for the complainants of sexual harassment confirmed that men were believed less, liked less, and punished more than women. Furthermore, the tendency to believe and like female complainants more than male complainants was stronger when complainants were physically attractive. This study contributes to a growing body of research on gender schemas in the context of sexual harassment.


Sexual-harassment Expectancy-violation theory Physical attractiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan M. Madera
    • 1
  • Kenneth E. Podratz
    • 1
  • Eden B. King
    • 2
  • Michelle R. Hebl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, MS 205Rice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, MSN 3F5George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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