HRM 124: Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment

Relevant excerpt

Sexual harassment is discriminatory, unlawful and will not be tolerated at Lincoln University. Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and occurs when such behavior constitutes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature where: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s welfare, academic or work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive education or work environment.

Examples of Sexual Harassment:

Acts that constitute sexual harassment take a variety of forms. Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
1. Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations.
2. Threats or insinuations that a person’s employment, wages, academic grade, promotional opportunities, classroom or work assignments or other conditions of employment or academic life may be adversely affected by not submitting to sexual advances.
3. Unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person’s body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene phone calls.
4. Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings, computer communications, or literature placed in the work or study area, which may embarrass or offend individuals.
5. Unwelcome and inappropriate touching, patting, pinching, or obscene gestures.
6. Consensual sexual relationships where such relationships lead to favoritism of a student or subordinate employee with whom the instructor or superior is sexually involved and where such favoritism adversely affects other students and/or employees.

Gender-based harassment is verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostile conduct based on sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation or gender identity. Gender-based harassment is not generally motivated by sexual interest or intent. It is more often based on hostility and is often an attempt to make the target feel unwelcome in their environment. When such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education or work programs or activities. For example, persistent disparagement of a person based on a perceived lack of stereotypical masculinity or femininity or exclusion from an activity based on sexual orientation or gender identity also may violate this Policy. In some cases, gender-based harassment may look the same as harassment based on sexual orientation, or homophobic bullying.

A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single severe episode. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment.

Examples of Gender-Based Harassment …

  • Using language that puts someone down and/or comments toward women (or men, in some cases), sex-specific derogatory names.
  • Leering or inappropriate staring.
  • Making gender-related comments about someone’s physical characteristics or mannerisms.
  • Making comments or treating someone badly because they don’t conform with sex-role stereotypes.
  • Showing or sending pornography, sexual pictures or cartoons, sexually explicit graffiti, or other sexual images (including on-line).
  • Sexual jokes, including passing around written sexual jokes (for example, by email).
  • Rough and vulgar humor or language related to gender.
  • Using sexual or gender-related comment or conduct to bully someone.
  • Spreading sexual rumors (including on-line).
  • Making suggestive or offensive comments or hints about members of a specific gender.
  • Making sexual propositions.
  • Verbally abusing, threatening or taunting someone based on gender.
  • Bragging about sexual prowess.
  • Demanding dates or sexual favors.
  • Making offensive sexual jokes or comments.
  • Asking questions or talking about sexual activities.
  • Making an employee dress in a sexualized or gender-specific way.
  • Acting paternally in a way that someone thinks undermines their self-respect or position of responsibility.

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