Examining Sexual Harassment, Younger Workers

June 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Workplace experiences of adolescents and those in their early 20s differ sharply from those of older workers, and the same can be said about generational perceptions of sexual harassment, according to research by a University of Maine sociologist.

Since 2000, UMaine sociologist Amy Blackstone and University of Minnesota sociologist Christopher Uggen have studied how age affects ’ perceptions of sexual harassment. They are among the first researchers to consider the experience of young workers in this way.

“These workers are vulnerable to sexual harassment, but most prior research excludes them. The dearth of research on and those in their early 20s might lead people to assume that sexual harassment isn’t a problem for young people but that would be the wrong conclusion to draw,” says Blackstone, an associate professor of sociology whose research interests include gender, social movements, work and families.

Historically, most sexual harassment research has centered on mid-career workers, mainly women. That continues to be the case, but Blackstone says such a narrow focus only tells part of the story. Through their research, based on survey and interview data from Minnesota’s annual Youth Development Study and the national General Social Survey, Blackstone, Uggen and their team give a broader view of sexual harassment across all ages and both genders.

It is her hope that this entire body of research will provide greater understanding about the underlying cultural and legal issues surrounding and lead to better training and prevention efforts in the future.

Explore further: Factors that influence whether people define unwelcome sexual joking in the workplace as harassment

More information: A recent article in UMaine Today magazine has more information on Blackstone’s research findings.

Related Stories

Sexual harassment at school -- more harmful than bullying

April 23, 2008

Schools’ current focus on bullying prevention may be masking the serious and underestimated health consequences of sexual harassment, according to James Gruber from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Susan Fineran ...

Both boys and girls negatively affected by sexual harassment

May 12, 2008

A new study in Psychology of Women Quarterly explored the outcomes of sexual harassment on both boys and girls. While girls were harassed more frequently, boys were indirectly yet negatively affected through a school climate ...

Recommended for you

How to cut your lawn for grasshoppers

November 22, 2017

Picture a grasshopper landing randomly on a lawn of fixed area. If it then jumps a certain distance in a random direction, what shape should the lawn be to maximise the chance that the grasshopper stays on the lawn after ...

Plague likely a Stone Age arrival to central Europe

November 22, 2017

A team of researchers led by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has sequenced the first six European genomes of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis dating from the Late Neolithic ...

Ancient barley took high road to China

November 21, 2017

First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.