Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favor or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when … 3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual‘s work or academic performance, i.e., it is sufficiently serious, pervasive or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive living, working, or educational environment….
Sexual harassment also includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex/gender or sex/gender-stereotyping, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexually harassing behaviors differ in type and severity and can range from subtle verbal harassment to unwelcome physical contact. There is a wide range of behaviors that fall within the general definition of sexual harassment and many differing notions about what behaviors are and are not acceptable. Key determining factors are that the behavior is unwelcome, is based on sex or gender, and is reasonably perceived as offensive and objectionable under both a subjective and objective assessment of the conduct.