Sex Roles

, Volume 45, Issue 5–6, pp 359–374 | Cite as

The Impact of the Proportion of Women in One's Workgroup, Profession, and Friendship Circle on Males' and Females' Responses to Sexual Harassment



This study investigated the role of different gender contexts, gender, and their interactions on responses to sexual harassment using a sample of 213 professionals. Responses to sexual attention were better predicted than were gender harassment responses. The proportion of female friends was positively related to confronting harassers and formally reporting, the proportion of females in one's field was negatively related to formally reporting, and the proportion of female coworkers was negatively related to seeking legal counsel. Men were more likely to formally report and more likely to seek legal counsel, but unexpectedly, less likely to confront harassers. The proportion of women in one's field and friendship circle had a stronger impact on females' responses to harassment, but the proportion of women in one's workgroup had a stronger impact on males' responses. Results are discussed in light of sex roles and ethical decision-making theory.


Social Psychology Strong Impact Sexual Harassment Female Friend Legal Counsel 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Washington UniversityUSA;

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