Although there are many legal definitions of sexual assault and rape, in general these terms refer to oral sexual contact or intercourse without consent. Whereas stranger rape is the most publicized type of rape, it is one of the least often committed. Among female victims of sexual assault, 67 percent reported they were assaulted by intimate partners, relatives, friends, or acquaintances (Catalano 2005). In addition, only 8 percent of sexual assaults involve weapons, again in contradiction to the stereotypical idea of stranger rape. This is important, because societal myths about rape and sexual assault affect offenders, victims, bystanders, and those responding to the crimes through law enforcement and social service systems. In struggling with these myths, many victims either believe that the rape was their fault or fail to identify what happened to them as rape. According to one study, only approximately 35 percent of sexual assaults were reported to the police in 2004, an increase in recent years but still a rate substantially lower than the rates for noninterpersonal crimes (Catalano 2005). Many victims choose not to report because of shame, fear, guilt, or concern about others’ perceptions. The responses of varying social systems, and in particular of law enforcement, can reinforce these feelings if the victim feels blamed by first responders. On one hand, the judicial system is set up to address charges of rape, based on the societal view that rape is wrong. In practice, however, many people find it difficult to address the issue, and there is often great silence and shame experienced by victims as well as perpetrators, families, law enforcement officials, and other people involved in the process.
In determining whether unwelcome sexual conduct rises to thelevel of a "hostile environment" in violation of Title VII, thecentral inquiry is whether the conduct "unreasonably interfer[es]with an individual's work performance" or creates "an intimidating,hostile, or offensive working environment." 29 C.F.R. §1604.11(a)(3). Thus, sexual flirtation or innuendo, even vulgarlanguage that is trivial or merely annoying, would probably notestablish a hostile environment.
Research Paper On Sexual Harassment
a) "Hostile Environment" Violates Title VII - TheCourt rejected the employer's contention that Title VII prohibitsonly discrimination that causes "economic" or "tangible" injury:"Title VII affords employees the right to work in an environmentfree from discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult whetherbased on sex, race, religion, or national origin. 106 S. Ct. at2405. Relying on the 's Guidelines definition of harassment, the court held that a plaintiffmay establish a violation of Title VII "by proving thatdiscrimination based on sex has created a hostile or abusive workenvironment." Id. The Court quoted the Eleventh Circuit'sdecision in Henson v. City of Dundee, 682 F.2d 897, 902, 29EPD ¶ 32,993 (11th Cir. 1982):
Women Journalists Share Their Stories of Sexual Harassment
Acts of physical aggression, intimidation, hostility or unequaltreatment based on sex may be combined with incidents of sexualharassment to establish the existence of discriminatory terms andconditions of employment. Hall v. Gus Construction Co., 842F.2d 1014; Hicks v. Gates Rubber Co., 833 F. 2d at 1416.
Does sexual harassment training work? | PBS NewsHour
Imagine a situation in which a number of college-age young adults are attending a party. Most guests are drinking alcohol, there is music, and plenty of people are dancing and kissing. In this situation, there may be peer pressure for young women and men to behave in certain ways. Young men receive messages that they are supposed to “get a girl,” and they receive positive peer reinforcement for initiating and maintaining intimate contact with one or more young women. In fact, the more the man encourages a woman to drink alcohol and engage in intimate behavior, the more social messages the man receives from his peers, praising him as a “stud.” At the same time, the young woman receives messages that she should feel flattered by the sexual attention and that she should do as the man encourages or wants. The social norms of this situation send messages to the woman that she should not assert her own feelings or desires if it will cause a scene or embarrass the man, and the man receives messages that he should continue to push the woman, regardless of her wishes. These messages create an environment where unwanted sexual behavior can occur with little or no intervention from bystanders. This has important consequences for the way observers of rape and sexual harassment patterns assign blame and design policies and laws to address these behaviors.
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When the victim is the target of both verbal and non-intimatephysical conduct, the hostility of the environment is exacerbatedand a violation is more likely to be found. Similarly, incidents ofsexual harassment directed at other employees in addition to thecharging party are relevant to a showing of hostile workenvironment. Hall v. Gus Construction Co., 842 F.2d 1010, 46EPD ¶ 37,905 (8th Cir. 1988); Hicks v. GatesRubber Co., 833 F.2d 1406, 44 EPD ¶ 37,542(10th Cir. 1987); Jones v. FlagshipInternational, 793 F.2d 714, 721 n.7, 40 EPD ¶ 36,392(5th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 107 S. Ct. 952, 41EPD ¶ 36,708 (1987).