Both men and women admit that sexual harassment in the workplace is a problem. This has come to light more in recent years than ever before. And, while it’s good that both genders acknowledge this reality, the truth is that they don’t perceive sexual harassment the same way.
For instance, women were asked if they had ever been harassed sexually at any point in their lives. A massive 80% of them said that they had. Men were then asked how often they thought women experienced sexual harassment. They cut that number in half, assuming it was just about 40%.
One reason could be that they don’t always think that the same things are sexual harassment in the first place. Most women think that it is always harassment if men ask them for sexual favors on the job. When men were asked, less than half of them agreed, according to Forbes and an American Family Survey. When asked if they thought that women did not have to express verbal consent to give that consent, most men thought that was accurate. Again, many women do not, believing that verbal consent is a must.
What this means is that a man and a woman could look at the same situation, with the woman believing that she is seeing a clear example of harassment and the man thinking that there isn’t really a problem. So, when men report that they think that sexual harassment is less common than women claim, they’re not quite denying that these events happen. They just don’t perceive the events the way that women do.
This is clearly a problem and may be one reason that harassment persists in the modern workplace. Those who face it need to know what steps to take to end the problem.