The role of women in society is changing. Terms such as sexual harassment become relevant so that this type of aggression does not go unpunished in court . Below we analyze what it consists of, what types there are and how to eradicate this type of behavior.
This is an easy guide to identify and stop sexist behavior .
- You can also read: The 5 types of jealousy and how to detect them.
What is sexual harassment
Although it is a much broader term, sexual harassment is intimidation or harassment of a sexual nature , whether physical or verbal.
The directive of the European Parliament defines it as follows:
“The situation in which any unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature occurs with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment is created”.
Proof of the relevance that it has acquired in recent times (and of the lack of protection of women in other times) is that the term was used for the first time in a 1973 report, after a discussion by a group of women from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The controversy: Does it affect men or women more?
We cannot ignore the fact that sexual harassment of men exists (regardless of their gender or orientation), and it would be absurd to deny it. However, the vast majority of complaints of sexual harassment are made by women and, what is more worrying, only 20% of women who have suffered some type of harassment report the facts.
Only 3% of complaints are from men.
It may be that the fear or shame of reporting what happened makes this last percentage lower, but in no case would it exceed the number of complaints made by women.
Types of sexual harassment
We now take a look at the types of sexual harassment that exist in society, depending on the area in which they occur.
1. Workplace harassment
It is the most common sexual harassment. Most cases are due to quid pro quo situations, that is, when a man abuses his power or authority over a co-worker . Often, the abuses are accompanied by threats to the victim, stating that if they tell, they will lose their job or suffer some type of employment consequence.
2. School bullying
Now, bullying is not limited to adults and also occurs in the school environment. This is what happens when a student (or a person in charge of the center)goes overboard with comments or touching. This can occur for several reasons:
- The student does not conceive of women as equals (he is not educated in gender equality).
- The student does not know what the limits are because he lacks authority figures.
- The student wants to exercise his authority over another classmate, and he does so through sexist behavior.
In the following link we leave some details of how to act if we face a case of bullying.
- To learn more: Bullying: what it is and the 5 types of bullying.
3. Street harassment
Another very frequent type of harassment that until recently was considered “normal” by a large part of society. However, street harassment is a sexist behavior that endangers the integrity of women.
Many men feel free to compliment or harass a woman in the middle of the street , even if her behavior makes the victim uncomfortable. Some of the most common qualifiers are “baby”, “hottie” or “doll”, although as we can see in this video that has garnered more than 47 million views, street harassment takes many forms.
4. Sentimental harassment
The last but not least type of sexual harassment is the one that occurs in a relationship. We cannot forget that any non-consensual sexual interaction is still harassment, even if the victim has not expressed that the situation makes her uncomfortable. This is when aspects such as blackmail or intimidation come into play.
Consequences of sexual harassment
The consequences of sexual abuse are very diverse and can lead to physical or psychological disorders. Among them, we highlight anxiety, depression, psychosomatic pain, sleep disorders or low self-esteem .
On the other hand, harassment of a sexual nature usually entails a series of consequences in the sphere of the victim (work, school or sentimental), since they often face serious reprisals. In this sense, the victim feels an anguished sensation of defenselessness or impotence.
How to put an end to
In order to reverse these situations or stop them, we give you a series of tips for victims of sexual harassment. We emphasize that each person is different and will react differently to a situation of abuse, so these tips are only indicative.
1. You are not alone
Psychological studies show that victims who verbalize their case with someone they trust(you don’t have to be a professional), they face the situation with greater integrity or positivity. There are groups of people who have been through your same situation, so share the experience with others.
2. It’s not your fault
Many victims feel ashamed or blame themselves for what happened. That is a trend that, fortunately, is reversing.
3. Take action
Far from ending the problem, avoiding the abusive situation can make the bullying persist or worsen. This does not mean that the victims have the obligation to physically or verbally confront the harasser , but rather that they must put the case in the hands of the corresponding authorities.
4. Educate in gender equality
Eradicating sexual harassment involves offering the new generations (and the traveling ones) an education based on gender equality and respect.
Unfortunately, many cultures remain immersed in a patriarchal system that encourages or justifies sexist behavior. The woman is considered guilty of “provoking” the man and establishes a series of abusive norms. Education is fundamental so that this does not happen, and the responsibility belongs to everyone .
Finally, we attached the prevention manual against sexual and gender-based harassment.