Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Military men more distressed by sexual harassment than military women

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Summary:
Military men who are targets of frightening and threatening sexual harassment may experience more distress and work performance problems than military women who face the same treatment, according to research. "Men may be less likely to think they'll be sexually harassed, so it's a particularly strong violation of their expectations and that could result in stronger negative reactions," an author said of the situation.

Military men who are targets of frightening and threatening sexual harassment may experience more distress and work performance problems than military women who face the same treatment, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

A total of 52 percent of military women said they had been sexually harassed compared with 19 percent of military men, and women more frequently reported they were very frightened by the experience than their male colleagues, according to a study published online in APA's Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. "The surprise was that men were more upset and debilitated after experiencing frightening sexual harassment than women," said lead author Isis H. Settles, PhD, of Michigan State University.

"Men may be less likely to think they'll be sexually harassed, so it's a particularly strong violation of their expectations and that could result in stronger negative reactions," Settles said. "Another possibility is that men feel less able to cope with their sexual harassment than women, who know it's a possibility and therefore are perhaps more emotionally prepared."

Researchers examined data from a 2002 Department of Defense survey of 17,874 service members, of whom 9,098 were men. A total of 6,304 male and female soldiers reported experiencing sexual harassment while on duty in the past year. Of those, 28 percent were men, 64.5 percent were white, 21.5 percent were African-American and 14 percent were Hispanic.

To differentiate between frightening and less serious harassment, the survey asked participants to recall one incident during the past 12 months that had the greatest effect on them and to rate the experience from being "not at all frightening and threatening" to "extremely frightening and threatening."

"Individuals were free to define how harassment made them feel. As such, frightening or threatening harassment could include experiences that were menacing, threatened their sense of job security, or were those they believed could escalate to an assault," said Settles.

Male soldiers reported that men were the perpetrators 52 percent of the time, while the other incidents involved both a man and a woman or a woman alone. For women, 86 percent of the harassment was by men, while the remaining incidents involved both men and women or only a woman. While soldiers of both genders reported more distress if sexually harassed by a higher ranking soldier, women reported more fear than men when their harasser was higher ranking. A total of 46 percent of men and 68 percent of women were sexually harassed by someone of higher rank.

The researchers assessed victims' level of distress, role limitations and work satisfaction based on their responses to survey questions. For example, to determine role limitations, participants indicated how often in the past four weeks they had difficulty doing their work or other daily activities as a result of physical or emotional problems.

Since the military is male-dominated and adheres to hierarchical, hyper-masculine cultural norms, more research is needed to determine whether the same results occur for men outside of a military context, the authors said.

"Overall, the findings illustrate the negative impact that sexual harassment has for both women and men, emphasizing the importance of organizations like the U.S. military to continue working to reduce its prevalence," Settles said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association (APA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Isis H. Settles, NiCole T. Buchanan, Stevie C. Y. Yap, Zaje A. T. Harrell. Sex Differences in Outcomes and Harasser Characteristics Associated With Frightening Sexual Harassment Appraisals.. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 2014; DOI: 10.1037/a0035449

Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association (APA). "Military men more distressed by sexual harassment than military women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327111518.htm>.
American Psychological Association (APA). (2014, March 27). Military men more distressed by sexual harassment than military women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327111518.htm
American Psychological Association (APA). "Military men more distressed by sexual harassment than military women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327111518.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins