EEOC Filings Show an Increase in Male-on-Male Sexual Harassment

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EEOC Filings Show an Increase in Male-on-Male Sexual Harassment

According to a recent Newsweek article between 1992 and 2008 the EEOC has seen a doubling of sexual-harassment charges filed by men from 8 percent to 16 percent. The charges mostly include same-sex sexual harassment, although some are cases of women sexually harassing men.

The Article quotes Marcia McCormick, a specialist in employment and gender issues and professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, as stating: "Sexual harassment is about using power in a way to hurt somebody." Sexual harassment in the workplace of both sexes is often about control, power, and humiliation, rather than sexual attraction, the Article asserts.

The Article notes that the U.S. Supreme Court over 20 years ago in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services recognized that an individual may bring a sexual harassment suit when the harasser and harassee employee are of the same sex. In that case a smaller male employee on an oil rig was harassed by co-workers and a supervisor, and in one instance was sexually assaulted by co-workers.

Further, the Article proposed that the economic times may be a factor in the increase,as it is more likely that managers are not be training to handle sexual harrassment issues, as often times those are the programs that are reduced or cut altogether. The Article proposes that in fact maybe instances of same-sex sexual harassment is not on the rise, but men themselves are more comfortable coming forward with such claims.

Please see the Newsweek article for the full report: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/01/12/abuse-of-power.html

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