Interesting Facts That Should Go into Your Essay on Sexual Harassment

July 11, 2017 | GradeMiners
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When writing a sexual harassment essay, it is important that you choose a definition to go with. There are various definitions proposed by different laws and organization like the UN, ILO, EU, COE, and EEOC. However the common elements you can draw from the definitions include; unlawful and unwanted behaviour that is sexual and which causes harm to the victim. Something worth noting in your essay is that; America was the first country to define sexual harassment as violation of the Title V11 of Civil Rights Act which is a federal law which strengthened remedies to include compensatory damages beyond back pay,

In your essay, you should discuss the industries where sexual harassment is rampant and give your reasons. The business industry tops the list, followed by the banking industry, sales and marketing industry, hospitality industry, civil service, and education industry. You can elaborate further by giving situations that make that industry to be notorious for sexual harassment. In the sales and marketing industry, you can mention the perception of women as sexual objects to fuel the sales especially in the car sales industry where women sales agents have to wear explicit clothing to sell a car or even put up with unwanted sexual advances all in aim of closing a sales deal.Another important area worth mentioning is the Public space. Subways, hallways are areas where people can be stalked, touched, groped, or they can be forcefully exposed to another person’s genitalia. It’s worth mentioning in your essay that the sociocultural context that objectifies women and their bodies tends to increases the likelihood of women experiencing harassment in the public domain

Behaviours that constitute sexual harassment

It is worth mentioning that some behaviours are obvious while others are subtle hence people don’t really recognize what qualifies as sexual harassment and as a result end up not reporting. It’s important you talk about them at length. Sexual harassment falls under two main categories; quid pro quo and hostile environment

Quid pro quo

Sexual harassment takes place when the employee’s conditions for hiring, promotion, salary raise, relocations, assignments, and expected performance are dependent on whether the employee is willing to offer sexual benefits

 Hostile environment

This includes: inappropriate touching, sexually explicit language, derogatory/ demeaning language, sexually provocative photos. These are all unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that make the work environment uncomfortable, hostile, and intimidating for employees

Statistics on victims of sexual harassment

Another area worth mentioning is the percentage of the victims and perpetrators perpetrators

40-70% women of reported cases are women. According to a study done in 2015 by cosmopolitan, one out of three women between 18-34 years have been sexually harassed. 70% of the women reported to have been sexually harassed by men in senior or supervisory positions

10-20% men have reported sexual harassment and this just goes to show that sexual harassment goes beyond gender. 59% of the men report to have been sexually harassed by women in senior positions while 41% reported to have been harassed by other males

Sexual harassment can also occurs between third parties like customer and supplier/ vendor

An important fact to draw from these is that men and women can be victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment but a high number of women make up the victim percentile

 Discussing the guidelines of sexual harassment policy

It’s worth focusing on the:

  • Understanding sexual harassment
  • Communication policy
  • Procedures to be established in a workplace to prevent sexual harassment
  • Enforcement policy to deter the perpetrator and prevent victimization and revictimization

It’s important that you mention that the effectiveness of a workplace policy hinges on the perceptions employees have on sexual harassment. If the workplace isn’t clear on what falls under sexual harassment, loopholes may be left creating an environment for sexual harassment

 Discussing effects of silence on your essay on sexual harassment

It’s important for you to mention how silence has led to the escalated cases of sexual harassment in the workplace. Worth mentioning is the Elephant in the Valley study that showed 60% of the victims failed to report because they were not happy with the course of action. Other reasons for the silence that you can further elaborate on include: fear of being branded a trouble shooter, being shifted to another department, damage to the professional performance, undermined confidence, and fear of retaliation from the abuser.

Discussing effects of sexual harassment on your essay

You can discuss at length the:

Physical effects- headaches, ulcers, skin problems, weight gain and loss

Psychological effects- stress, anxiety, guilt, fatigue, sleep disturbance, sexual problems, panic disorders, depression, anger, low esteem

Workplace effects- decreased performance, loss of job/ promotion, absenteeism, unfavourable evaluations, job withdrawal, change in career goals, demoralization of women from being assertive, reinforcement on stereotypes of women a sexual objects, and fear of formal employment

School effects- poor performance, absenteeism, avoiding study groups, contemplating on dropping school, changing classes, concentration difficulties, less social participation, avoiding public areas

Discussing strategies a victim can use in case they are being harassed:

Firmly saying no/ sending a letter by certified mail and keeping the mail that categorically discourages the unwanted behaviour.

Recording each incidence as it happens and the harassers involved

Speaking up to find support and protect others from becoming victims

Looking for people who administer sexual harassment procedure at your workplace

Consult a psychologist or psychiatrist if you have severe psychological distress

 Risk and Protective factors of sexual harassment

You can categorize the risk factors which increase the likelihood of sexual harassment into three and elaborate briefly on each

  • Individual factors- like personality, socialization
  • Relationship factors- interpersonal relationship with family, peers, community members
  • Community factors- talk about the institutions in the community like churches, schools, workplaces and how each increase the likelihood of sexual harassment occurring
  • Societal factors- mention how culture, religion, societal norms, policies increase the likelihood of sexual harassment occurring

 

Protective factors include the factors that decrease the likelihood of sexual harassment. They act as buffers against this vice. You can discuss how: academic achievement, emotional well being, empathy, democratic parental rearing prevent and protect an individual from sexual harassment

Sexual harassment prevention

When you’re discussing on prevention, you need to mention the factors and situations that promote and prevent sexual harassment. As you discuss prevention, the goal should be to end unhealthy behaviours, victimization and revictimization. You can mention the three levels of prevention namely:

Primary level- this is prevention before any sexual harassment has occurred and the aim is to avoid perpetration and victimization. Strategies employed are either targeted to everyone or selected people who are at risk of perpetrating or victimization

Secondary level- refers to the immediate response after a sexual harassment i.e. immediate counselling for the victim and immediate arrest of the perpetrator

Tertiary level-addresses the long-term consequences of sexual harassment and interventions for the victim and perpetrator. You can discuss continued counselling for the victim and specialized treatment and management for the offender so as to prevent reoccurrence of harmful behaviours

As you conclude your essay on sexual harassment, recap the growing risk, prevention strategies. You can focus on two benefits of curbing sexual harassment in the workplace to make your closing solid

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