People sometimes buy into certain stereotypes about sexual harassment. One of them is that gender plays a major role and that sexual harassment always works the same way. For example, it is a common trope to assume that a boss may harass his secretary when a boss is a man and the secretary is a woman.
The reason for the stereotype is simply that those job roles used to fall into these patterns more often, back in the 1950s and 60s. But the truth is that gender no longer matters in sexual harassment cases, and both men and women can be harassed. Likewise, both men and women could be harassers. Complaints have been filed both ways every year in the United States, showing how this type of harassment really takes place.
Sexual harassment by the percentages
It is still true that sexual harassment is more likely to follow the old patterns, with women filing complaints 83.5% of the time. On the other hand, only 16.5% of the cases were filed by men.
But this is still enough to show that men do face harassment and are beginning to stand up for it. Additionally, it’s worth noting that many men may also buy into these old stereotypes and not believe they can report harassment, even when it has occurred. This could mean that the percentage of reports filed by men is simply too small because a lot of things are being overlooked.
If you’ve been harassed on the job, it’s absolutely crucial that you understand your legal rights. All workers have rights and you do not simply have to accept working in a hostile environment where those rights are not respected.