Who is Affected by Sexual Harassment?
Although men can be and are sexually harassed, it is overwhelmingly women who are affected. The growing body of literature and advocates in the field describe no specific age or rank as prime targets of harassment. However, there is evidence that minority women, lesbians, gay men and older women students are somewhat more likely to be the recipients of disparaging language and pressure.
Although sexual harassment is most frequently thought of as senior male faculty members harassing junior women faculty or students, it is known that harassment occurs at all levels. Some verbal and/or physical interactions between peers or colleagues when not asked for, not welcomed, or not returned, may be interpreted as sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment frequently involves an expression of sexual conduct that seeks to exploit a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power, but it may also occur in other situations including relationships between individuals of equal status or rank within the University. Sexual harassment may occur between males and females and between persons of the same gender.