Although there has been a lot of focus on sexual harassment over the last few years, it still continues to happen in various settings. Many people may be aware of what sexual harassment means, but it still can be challenging to identify when it occurs.
Sexual harassment can happen in subtle ways or in situations that are not sexual in nature. Along with the more obvious examples of sexual harassment, there is also sex-based harassment.
Basics of sexual harassment
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment refers to provocation based on a person’s sex. Although it occurs more towards females, sexual harassment can happen to males as well, and the harasser can be a man or woman. The harassment may come from a person in a power position, such as a supervisor, but the harasser can also be a co-worker, vendor or client.
Examples of sexual harassment
When people think of sexual harassment, they often think of situations related to something sexual, such as:
- Sexual favor requests
- Unwelcome advances that are sexual
- Unwanted physical touching
- Discussing sexual fantasies or stories
- Exposing oneself
- Making sexually demeaning comments
Sexual harassment can also be jokes of a sexual nature or unwanted sexually explicit photos sent via text or email.
Examples of sex-based harassment
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that sex-based or gender-based harassment can also constitute sexual harassment. This refers to unwelcome conduct based on a person’s sex or gender. Examples include making comments about men or women in general or playing favorites to one gender over the other. Some situations also fall under sex discrimination.