Employees who are sexually harassed experience less job satisfaction and lower job performance

Nov 20, 2008

A new study in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly examined the effects of workplace sexual harassment and found that employees who were harassed report lower levels of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance. Employees also experienced higher levels of psychological distress and physical problems than those who were not harassed.

Darius K-S Chan, Chun Bun Lam, Suk Yee Chow, and Shu Fai Cheung examined the job-related, psychological, and physical outcomes of sexual harassment in the workplace. Using some statistical techniques, the researchers analyzed findings from 49 studies on workplace harassment, with a total sample size of 89,382 people, to investigate the effects of sexual harassment and job-related outcomes. The sample consisted of employees from different countries, with Americans being the vast majority.

Female employees did not appear to be more strongly impacted than males. However, age did play a role. Sexual harassment experiences were found to be more consistently tied to job-related outcomes, psychological well-being, and physical health among younger employees than older employees.

"An accurate understanding of sexual harassment outcomes sustains organizational efforts directed at preventive information and legislation," the authors conclude. "Our results provide solid information for organizations to address the issue of sexual harassment."

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Explore further: Oceanographer Ballard elected to American Academy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Bloody souvenir not from decapitated French king: DNA

7 hours ago

Two centuries after the French people beheaded King Louis XVI and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, DNA analysis has thrown new doubt on the authenticity of one such rag kept as a morbid souvenir.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

libkarl2
not rated yet Nov 21, 2008
In other news, scientists discover that stress is the leading cause of stress in the workplace.
CrazySexyMetalChick
not rated yet Apr 12, 2009
If you are slightly familiar with my blog, you know that I am currently involved in a sexual harassment legal nightmare: the second day after meeting my new boss at my new job, the married SOB grabbed me, kissed my neck, and propositioned me three times! I notified the CEO and human resources. Nothing was done. I needed to be hospitalized, to take anti-anxiety/anti-depression medication%u2014most recently, my job threatened to have me arrested for theft because I did not return their laptop as quickly as they wanted. Now, my lawyer is fighting with their lawyer (and I am finding out, painfully, that the law is very weak to protect/help victims of sexual harassment/discrimination. In fact, the law goes out of its way to protect small companies like mine from being sued for sexual harassment!).

Anyway, since this nightmare has consumed my life for the past several months and will likely consume my life, time, and attention for the next several months, I figured I might as well try to make something positive come out of all of this.

WHO AM I?

Despite my moniker, I am actually an honest to goodness writer/scholar:

I have a B.A. in Professional Writing from Penn State, Summa Cum Laude, 2008.

I received the Penn State Professional Writing Program Achievement Award, 2008.

I was a news writer and copy editor for the Penn State Collegian.

I was published in New York Newsday at age 12.

THE PROJECT

By the end of this year, I should receive my M.A. in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook (I would like to go onto the Ph.D. after that). However, I must complete a research paper/project. For my project, I am considering a study of individuals experiences with sexual harassment, company policies regarding sexual harassment (both written policy and what is actually done, often two very different things!), the application of the law, the inefficiency of current laws, the differing verbal/nonverbal communication styles of men and women in the workplace and how this can lead to sexual harassment, etc.

I would like to collect and examine stories of sexual harassment from women (and men), preferably current situations or situations which have occurred within the last 5 years.

WHY SHOULD YOU BOTHER TO HELP ME?

1. I am a Humanities/Social Sciences grad student. Everyone knows that such academic pursuits are strictly labors of love and as such, students in these pursuits deserve to be pitied and helped. Besides, maybe I can get my research paper published (not for profit, of course), and we all have an obligation to help push knowledge forward.

2. Sharing your story would likely be cathartic for you as well as for me.

I will likely be collecting stories until 9/2009 or 10/2009, since my paper will be due 12/2009. If you think you have a story you would like to share with me, please email me: agirlandherjob@gmail.com

Thanks! Love yas!

More news stories

Researchers trace HIV adaptation to its human host

"Much research has focused on how HIV adapts to antiviral drugs – we wanted to investigate how HIV adapts to us, its human host, over time," says lead author Zabrina Brumme from Simon Fraser University.