Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct: Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct

Mount Holyoke College

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    Harassment Policies
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Sex based harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, as determined by a reasonable person that is severe, pervasive or objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s education program or activity. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or both of the following conditions outlined below are present.


Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s working, learning or living environment or limits the individual’s ability to participate or benefit from the College’s employment, education programs or activities by creating an intimidating, threatening, abusive, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive environment using both a subjective and objective perspective. This is often referred to as a “hostile environment.”


Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual or gender-based harassment include but are not limited to: ...

  • Sexual innuendos, jokes, written or verbal references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s own sex life, comments on an individual’s body, discussion or inquiry about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, activity, deficiencies or prowess.
  • Displaying or circulating sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videos or cartoons, including via electronic communications. ...
  • Refusal to use or consistent misuse of someone’s stated name or pronouns.
  • Outing someone as transgender with the intent to cause harm.
  • Bullying or hazing based on sex or gender:
    • Bullying is the repeated use by one or more people of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at another person that causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property, places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to self or damage of personal property, creates a hostile environment at the College for the victim, infringes on the rights of the victim at the College, or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or orderly operation of the College.