Sex Roles

, Volume 63, Issue 3–4, pp 201–213 | Cite as

Bystanders’ Reactions to Sexual Harassment

  • Claudia Benavides-EspinozaEmail author
  • George B. Cunningham
Original Article


The purpose of this investigation was to examine bystanders’ reactions to observing sexual harassment. Undergraduate students (n = 107 and n = 122, respectively) in the Southwest U.S. participated in two experiments in which they read about cases of sexual harassment and responded with their preferred punishment for the offenses. Findings from both studies demonstrate the importance of (a) a proactive organizational culture, (b) handing down punishments for sexual harassment that match both the severity of the infraction and the culture of the workplace, and (c) remaining cognizant of the potential differences in the ways women and men respond to observing sexual harassment in the workplace.


Harassment Diversity culture Organizational justice 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Benavides-Espinoza
    • 1
    Email author
  • George B. Cunningham
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de Organización DeportivaUniversidad Autónoma de Nuevo LeónSan Nicolás de los GarzaMexico
  2. 2.Laboratory for Diversity in Sport, Department of Health and KinesiologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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