How does sexual harassment impact men in the workplace?

Conversations about sexual harassment are not uncommon, especially on our employment law blog. We thought it might be worth reminding, however, that cases of sexual harassment are all different — including the gender of the victim.

Most people might think of a female employee as the most common victim of sexual harassment. That is not always the case, and it is important to know that in order for men to get the treatment and seek the help they deserve.

Psychology Today reports on studies about sexual harassment against men in the U.S. workplace. Men report going through similar types of harassment as women, there are just fewer incidents or fewer reports. The following are kinds of behaviors men claim to have faced: 

Men, too, can be pressured to engage in a sexual relationship if a manager, for example, threatens their job security. There are female managers in many workplaces. They can abuse their situation and try to bribe a male employee into a sexual situation. 

Female workers must follow the same rules about sexual advances and sexual discussion as their male counterparts. A workplace shouldn’t become a hostile, uncomfortable environment for anyone, man or woman. Offensive discussion about gender also fits under the umbrella of sexual harassment. With shifting gender norms in our society, some men and women will say inappropriate things, and such behavior should be prevented and reprimanded.

Prevention is the best tool to combat sexual harassment. Workplaces that have clear rules against and training about the inappropriate behavior foster environments wherein workers feel safer and more respected. Someone who feels that they’ve been disrespected through harassment on the job can discuss their rights with an employment lawyer. 

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