Understanding Sexual Harassment

By August 28, 2013

The determination of what constitutes sexual harassment will vary with the particular circumstances, but it may be described generally as repeated and unwanted sexual behavior, such as physical contact and/or verbal comments or suggestions, that adversely affects the working or learning environment.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

By August 28, 2013

For general policy purposes, sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct and expressive behavior of a sexual nature when:

3. Such conduct has the effect of interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning employment or educational environment.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

By August 28, 2013

There are two types of sexual harassment:

2. Hostile environment — when unwelcome sexual behavior has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

By August 28, 2013

What Behaviors Can Be Considered Sexual Harassment?

Behaviors that can be considered sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

Making suggestive comments about a person’s clothing, anatomy, or looks

Uninvited sexual teasing, telling sexual jokes, or using sexual innuendoes

Asking inappropriate questions about a colleague’s or student’s personal life

Uninvited and deliberate inappropriate touching

Restricting or hindering another person’s movements

Looking a person up and down with ‘elevator eyes’ or staring

Making uninvited sexually suggestive facial expressions, sounds, or gestures

Sending uninvited letters or materials of a sexual nature or making uninvited telephone calls

Repeatedly asking a person out on a date, even after that person has said no

Belittling or ridiculing a gender through comments or jokes

Displaying sexually oriented posters, calendars, cartoons, or other similar material

Understanding Sexual Harassment

By August 28, 2013

To determine if your behavior is unwelcome, you should ask yourself the following:

Would I want any of my behavior to be the subject of a column in my organization’s newsletter or to appear on the evening news?
Would I behave the same way if my spouse or significant other were standing next to me?
Would I want someone else to act this way toward my spouse, child, or significant other?