Sexual harassment is a form of sex and gender discrimination that involves unwelcome or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. It can include unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include conduct directed at a person because of their real or perceived gender. Similarly, sex and/or gender based harassment that is not sexual in nature is prohibited by this policy and can also include conduct directed at a person because of their real or perceived sex and/or gender. This conduct is harassment when:
● The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance.
Sexual and sex and/or gender based harassment has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance if, for example, it is sufficiently serious, pervasive or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, discriminatory or sexually offensive working, academic, residential or social environment under both an objective (i.e. a reasonable person’s view) and subjective (the complainant’s view) standard.
Some examples of unwelcome or unwanted conduct that could constitute sexual and/or sex and/or gender based harassment include (but are not limited to):
● Sexual propositions
● Sexual advances – with or without touching
● Sexual jokes or describing sexual conduct
● Comments on an individual’s body and/or appearance
● Comments about sexual activity, experiences, deficiencies or prowess
● Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons and other images
● Sexual gestures, leering, whistling or innuendos of a sexual nature
● Hostile or intimidating conduct such as yelling or screaming at an individual based on sex/gender
● Sexist statements and behavior
● Taunting slurs or other hostility for failing to conform to expected notions of masculinity or femininity
● Inappropriate gifts or communications (letters, telephone calls, emails, texts)
● Use of pet names, nicknames or terms of endearment