Types of Sexual Harassment

1. Power-player – Legally termed “quid pro quo” harassment, these harassers insist on sexual favors in exchange for benefits they can dispense because of their positions in hierarchies: getting or keeping a job, favorable grades, recommendations, credentials, projects, promotion, orders, and other types of opportunities.
sexual harassment
2. Mother/Father Figure (a.k.a. The Counselor-Helper) – These harassers will try to create mentor-like relationships with their targets, all the while masking their sexual intentions with pretenses towards personal, professional, or academic attention.

3. One-of-the-Gang – Harassment occurs when groups of men or women embarrass others with lewd comments, physical evaluations, or other unwanted sexual attention. Harassers may act individually in order to belong or impress the others, or groups may gang up on a particular target.

4. Serial Harasser – Harassers of this type carefully build up an image so that people would find it hard to believe they would do anyone any harm. They plan their approaches carefully, and strike in private so that it is their word against that of their victims.

5. Groper – Whenever the opportunity presents itself, these harassers’ eyes and hands begin to wander, engaging in unwanted physical contact that may start innocuous but lead to worse.

6. Opportunist – Opportunist use physical settings and circumstances, or infrequently occurring opportunities, to mask premeditated or intentional sexual behavior towards targets. This will often involve changing the environment in order to minimize inhibitory effects of the workplace or school or taking advantage of physical tasks to ‘accidentally’ grope a target.

7. Bully – In this case, a harasser uses physical threats to frighten and separate two would be lovers who willfully are engaging with each other. The intent of the harasser can be due to a range of reasons such as jealousy, racism, or their own hidden sexual agendas. Normally the harasser attempts to physically separate the two using their size or threats of physical violence and remains until they are satisfied by the separation or can pursue their own sexual agenda against one of the victims.

8. Confidante – Harassers of this type approach subordinates, or students, as equals or friends, sharing about their own life experiences and difficulties, sharing stories to win admiration and sympathy, and inviting subordinates to share theirs so as to make them feel valued and trusted. Soon these relationships move into an intimate domain.

9. Situational Harasser – Harassing behavior begins when the perpetrator endures a traumatic event (psychological), or begins to experience very stressful life situations, such as psychological or medical problems, marital problems, or divorce. The harassment will usually stop if the situation changes or the pressures are removed.

10. Pest – This is the stereotypical “won’t take ‘no’ for an answer” harasser who persists in hounding a target for attention and dates even after persistent rejections. This behavior is usually misguided, with no malicious intent.

11. Great Gallant – This mostly verbal harassment involves excessive compliments and personal comments that focus on appearance and gender, and are out of place or embarrassing to the recipient. Such comments are sometimes accompanied by leering looks.

12. Intellectual Seducer – Most often found in educational settings, these harassers will try to use their knowledge and skills as an avenue to gain access to students, or information about students, for sexual purposes. They may require students participate in exercises or “studies” that reveal information about their sexual experiences, preferences, and habits.

13. Incompetent – These are socially inept individuals who desire the attentions of their targets, who do not reciprocate these feelings. They may display a sense of entitlement, believing their targets should feel flattered by their attentions. When rejected, this type of harasser may use bullying methods as a form of revenge.

14. Stalking – Persistent watching, following, contacting or observing of an individual, sometimes motivated by what the stalker believes to be love, or by sexual obsession, or by anger and hostility.

15. Unintentional – Acts or comments of a sexual nature, not intended to harass, can constitute sexual harassment if another person feels uncomfortable with such subjects.

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