The Types of Sexual Harassment

Gender Harassment: Generalized sexist statements and behavior convey insulting or degrading attitudes about women. Examples include insulting remarks, offensive graffiti, obscene jokes or humor about sex or women in general.

Seductive Behavior: Unwanted inappropriate and offensive sexual advances. Examples include repeated unwanted sexual invitations, insistent request for dinner, drinks, or dates, persistent letters phone calls and other invitations.

Sexual Bribery: Solicitation of sexual activity or other six-linked behavior by promise of reward; the proposition may be either overt or subtle.

Sexual Coercion: Coercion of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior by the threat of punishment; examples include negative performance evaluation, withholding promotions, threat of termination.

Sexual Imposition: Gross sexual imposition (such as forceful touching, feeling, grabbing) or sexual assault.

Of these five types of behavior, gender harassment is by far the most common, followed by seductive behavior. The classic forms of sexual harassment (bribery and coercion) are in fact relatively uncommon, while other forms of sexual imposition happen more frequently than most people think. Recent court decisions have also found that certain types of offensive visual displays in the workplace, such as pornography, can be considered sexual harassment.

The defining characteristic of sexual harassment is that it is unwanted. It’s important to clearly let an offender know that certain actions are welcome.