Sex Roles

, Volume 41, Issue 9–10, pp 681–704 | Cite as

Studying Sexual Harassment in the Laboratory: Are Egalitarian Women at Higher Risk?

  • Elena Dall'Ara
  • Anne Maass


A laboratory experiment is reported in whichmale participants in Northern Italy (N = 120 universitystudents) were given the opportunity to sendpornographic material to a female interaction partner(“computer harassmentparadigm”). The allegedgender-role orientation of the female (traditional vs.egalitarian) and the construal of the interaction aseither intergroup or interpersonal were variedsystematically. Results show that participants molest femaleinteraction partners more when they express egalitarianrather than traditional gender-role attitudes; this isparticularly true for males with a high propensity to harass (high scores on likelihood of sexualharassment scale, Pryor, 1987), with sexist attitudes,with a strong identification as “males,” andfor low self-monitors. Also, males with a highpropensity to harass were more likely to harass theirinteraction partner when they perceived the situation asa male-female inter-group setting (rather than asinterpersonal). Results are interpreted as supporting a social identity account ofmisogyny.


High Risk Social Psychology Laboratory Experiment Sexual Harassment Social Identity 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Dall'Ara
  • Anne Maass

There are no affiliations available

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