Sexual Harassment Still Prevalent in Workplaces: End Discrimination Now - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1077 Words
Date:  2023-08-13


Despite the increased campaign in our modern world to eliminate inequality by empowering every individual human equally in all sectors, sexual harassment is still prevalent in our workplaces. Sexual harassment in workplaces occurs when an individual abuses their power by discriminating others based on gender or sexuality. Sexual harassment includes instances where the victim is directly or indirectly demanded to be sexually compliant to enjoy certain employment benefits. It also entails sexually suggestive verbal and non-verbal behaviors that make a victim uncomfortable. These instances create a hostile working environment for the victim and it usually detrimentally affects them emotionally, mentally, and physically. Every organization, therefore, is obligated to understand the factors that cause sexual harassment in work premises and develop ways on how to root it out entirely from its administration system. This article will cast a broad net on the factors that induce sexual harassment in workplaces and discuss the professional expectations that will aid in ending it on work premises.

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Factors of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in workplaces is caused by numerous reasons. The social-cultural perspective of sexual harassment is the first cause of sexual harassment. The theory explains that sexual harassment is preceded by gender inequalities that exist in most of our organizational contexts. As Abbas, Zaib, and Kwong outlines, essentially, males dominate most of the workplaces and leadership positions (48). As a result, females are predominantly subordinates and required to follow, which can drive a male into abusing their power and sexually abusing female employees.

Additionally, the cause of workplace sexual harassment can be explained by the ‘power distribution’ organizational theory. According to the model, sexual harassment often stems from ‘workplace culture’ and ‘worker power’ dimensions (Abbas, et al. 49). Under this theory, scholars argue that the tendency of sexual harassment in work premises is dependent upon relative power and its underlying differences among employees (Abbas, et al. 49). Relative power can empower some employees and in particular those holding powerful leadership positions to sexually harass others. These power dynamics coupled with the reality of the socio-cultural theory, where gender inequalities leave females with less powerful ranks, expose them highly to sexual harassment.

Furthermore, the sex-role spillover theory is another factor that can be considered as the cause of sexual harassment. The perspectives explain that “workplace behavior towards the opposite sex is shaped by pre-established gender stereotypes and behavioral expectations for the respective sex” (Abbas, et al. 49). Under this model, scholars posit that gender stereotypes maintain their social beliefs about a particular gender even when they join the organizational contexts. They tend to even abuse their power to ensure they fulfill their beliefs. Other scholars explain the theory under gender perspective stereotypes (Abbas, et al. 49). These stereotypes will often harass an employee who is in contradiction to their gender perspectives and beliefs (Abbas, et al. 49).

Moreover, the biological theory of sexual harassment is another factor that explains the occurrence of sexual harassment in workplaces. The theory argues that sexual harassment in work premises is a natural phenomenon that occurs whenever differing genders interact (Abbas, et al. 49). As scholars explain, this model demonstrates that whenever females and males interact in workplaces, they tend to disagree because of their sexual behaviors resulting in sexual harassment (Abbas, et al. 49). Some scholars in the theory argue that sexual harassment will likely occur whenever four basic conditions are met, namely:

  • When an individual develops the push to harass,
  • When the harasser lacks the feeling of guilt over their actions,
  • When the harasser overwhelms any available external resistance, and
  • When the victim fails to resist any harassment approach (Abbas, et al. 49).

The reasons for sexual harassment in work premises explained by the above theories are made possible by organizational antecedent factors like job gender context and the organizational climate (Abbas, et al. 50). If the organizational climate is tolerant of sexual, harassment, the propensity of the act to happen is even higher. An organization lacking formal policies to report and punish the sexual harassment act will motivate an employee to commit the act against their co-worker (Abbas, et al. 50). In addition to organizational climate, job gender context in work premises is another sexual harassment antecedent factor. For example, organizations dominated by males will usually hold certain misguided construed notions against the females terming them inferior (Abbas, et al. 50). In such cases, sexual harassment will most likely occur against female employees because they are believed as lesser co-workers.

Ways to End Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a clear indication of a lack of gender equity and gender equality in workplaces. It is the utmost responsibility of every organization to create policies that will root out sexual harassment among employees to ensure that the working environment is conducive for everyone. To end this demeaning act, several professional ethical steps can be undertaken to end sexual harassment and ensure workplace equality prevails.

Eliminating sexual harassment in our workplaces requires appropriate ethical and professional responsibilities of civility, respect, and professionalism among all employees (Sapiro 1062). To begin with, to end sexual harassment in our organizations, every employee should behave in a particular way that conforms with the ethical principles of respect. To succeed workplaces should institute policies that embrace the principle of anti-subordination (Sapiro 1062). With anti-subordination, the need to follow the will of others will be eliminated, therefore, promoting respect for all in the workplace.

Additionally, work premises should strive to develop organizational contexts where civility is prevalent. Formal policies should be initiated on ways to report and punish any sexual harassment acts. With effective structures of redress in place, an employee will be dissuaded to make sexual comments or jokes against their co-worker irrespective of their position in pretense to flatter or act in a friendly manner because of the fear of the action that will follow (Sapiro 1062). Therefore, with civility in our workplaces, sexual harassment will be less prevalent because it is not tolerated. Besides, such organizations that have effective communicative action structures, ensure that professionalism prevails and that everybody doesn’t act as they wish because they know it is unprofessional and will result in punishments (Sapiro 1063). Therefore, ethical practices that adhere to respect, civility, and professionalism are essential in ending sexual harassment and ensuring equality and equity among all is enhanced in organizational contexts. Workplaces lacking sexual harassment in their ranks get to enjoy success by ensuring everyone practices their profession at an optimum level because the environment is less hostile for all.

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Sexual Harassment Still Prevalent in Workplaces: End Discrimination Now - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 13). Retrieved from

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