The Unexpected Effects of a Sexual Harassment Educational Program


This study evaluated a sexual harassment program for staff and faculty employees at a metropolitan university. One hundred men and 97 women who participated in the program and 141 men and 178 women who did not participate responded to a self-report questionnaire through campus mail. Analysis of variance was used to test for effects of program participation and employee gender on five outcome variables. Results indicated that participants showed more knowledge about sexual harassment than did nonparticipants and had a stronger attitude that sexual behavior at work is inappropriate. Men had more favorable attitudes toward sexual behavior at work than did women. Moreover, program participation and employee gender interacted, indicating an adverse reaction to the program among male participants. Male participants were less likely than other groups to perceive coercive sexual harassment, less willing to report sexual harassment, and more likely to blame the victim. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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Study as mentioned in the following media:

“Sexual harassment training ‘makes men less likely to report inappropriate behaviour at work ‘” – The telegraph lifestyle, women

“Sexual harassment training may have reverse effect, research suggests” – The Guardian

“Is Sexual Harassment Training Hopeless?” – XXFactor

That Sexual Harassment Training You Got At Work? It May Not Be Working