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Individual differences factors affecting workplace sexual harassment perceptions

Toker, Yonca
The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of individual differences on Sexual Harassment (SH) perceptions at the workplace. Specifically, the effects of attitudes toward women̕s gender roles and personality attributes (i.e., self-esteem and emotional affectivity) on SH perceptions were examined. Another purpose of the study was to explore the stereotype domains of sexual harassers and to compare it with those of managers. A preliminary study was conducted by interviewing 56 Turkish working women. Based on the content analyses of the responses, a measure of social-sexual behavior manifestations relevant to the Turkish culture and a measure of harasser stereotypes were developed. In the main study, the social-sexual behavior measure was used to assess harassment perceptions and experiences of women, the stereotype measure was used to explore the nature of harasser and manager stereotypes. A total of 353 women employed in various organizations participated in the main study. Social-sexual behavior items based on sexual harassment perceptions yielded six factors (i.e., unwanted personal attention, verbal sexual attention, sexist hostility, physical sexual assault, insinuation of interest, and sexual bribery and sexual coercion). Each factor was regressed on the individual differences variables. Negative affectivity predicted perceptions of unwanted personal attention, verbal sexual attention, and sexist hostility type of behaviors. Attitudes toward women̕s gender roles predicted physical sexual assault and sexual bribery-sexual coercion type of behaviors. Self-esteem was found to predict all sexual harassment factors, except sexist hostility. Women̕s stereotypes towards harassers were found to be significantly different from their stereotypes towards managers, except one domain, which was dominancy. Cluster analysis suggested three different