Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Department of Education or the United States government.
Preliminary versions of the present studies appeared as a symposium presented to the convention of the American Psychological Association, AugustLos Angeles. Correspondence and reprint requests should be directed to Louise F. All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. This paper describes the results of research undertaken to provide such an instrument, which we call the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire.
In addition, we describe the development of a second form of the inventory designed for working women and report the results for a large sample of academic, professional and semiprofessional, and blue-collar women.
Although only recently reaching public and scholarly awareness as an important issue, the sexual harassment of women workers has been a problem for as long as women have worked outside the home. Ina popular periodical of the day published a collection of stories documenting the experiences of women who had migrated to the city at the turn of the century to find work. These stories revealed widespread and extensive harassment.
Bularzikin a historical account of the phenomenon, tells of a broom factory where women carried knives to protect themselves-contemporary accounts, while usually less dramatic, are no less compelling. Recently, however, two large- scale formal studies have appeared that lend support to the hypothesis that sexual harassment is indeed a widespread phenomenon.
Merit Systems Protection Board. Data were collected from a stratified random sample of federal employees listed in the Central Personnel Data File of the Office of Personnel Management. Usable data were obtained from The final sample contained 10, women. Forty-two percent of these women reported being the target of overt sexual harassment at some point in the 2-year period covered by the study.
As Chapman points out, this is likely an underestimate, given the narrow definition of sexual harassment employed; even so, it projects to roughly 18 to 19 million employees in Categorical variable contains less than 2 categories of sexual harassment total U.
Similarly, in a large survey of a representative sample of private-sector workers in the Los Angeles area Gutek, Negative consequences in the Merit System study included emotional or physical difficulties, negative feelings about work, and poor job performance. The picture of sexual harassment that emerges as understanding of the phenomenon grows is not only one of a common experience, but also a damaging one.
Physical symptoms like headache, backache, nausea, weight loss or gain, and psychological reactions, like insomnia, depression, and nervousness, are common.
These reactions in turn cause loss of motivation, absenteeism, and, in the end, diminished productivity, as women lose their desire and ability to work efficiently. Saxbe, ; Miller v. Bank of America, ; and others.
In their recent book on the topic, Dziech and Weiner write: Although it has only recently been recognized and named, such harassment is not a new problem, but one that women students have always faced. On occasion, in certain forms, it appeared as romance: Charlotte Bronte wrote about it more than a hundred years ago; in the popular confessions magazines, authors write about it still. As with the research on working women, evidence exists that such harassment can result in serious psychological and practical consequences for women students.
The practical costs of harassment to the victim are quite dramatic and have been documented by both survey and qualitative research efforts. In the last few years, studies have begun to appear attempt to document in a formal manner the nature and extent of sexual harassment in the university setting.
Several institutions have undertaken self-studies, as well as attempted to determine what various constituencies e.
As a result of the differing methodologies and definitions that have been utilized, it has proven quite difficult to compare results across studies and to achieve some clarity concerning both the base rates and the dimensions of the phenomenon. This paper describes the results of research undertaken to provide such an instrument, which we call the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire SEQ.
The universities were similar in size, both enrolling somewhat less than 20, students; however, they differed in prestige as well as location, with one being a highly prestigious research-oriented institution, housing many nationally known graduate programs. The average age of the undergraduates was Ninety-three percent of the undergraduates were advanced students and were approximately equally split between juniors and seniors.