Department

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dept. of Psychology

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

The current study addresses the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace and explores the roles of bystanders, or those who witness these encounters, during and after events of workplace sexual harassment. It qualitatively investigates how perceptions of organizational sexual harassment situations influence bystander intervention. It places particular focus on female bystanders’ impressions of female victims. It also considers the role that stigmatization of a victim plays in the intervention of these female bystanders in incidents of workplace sexual harassment. This investigation explores the repercussions of associating with a stigmatized female victim and how the ramifications of females getting involved in a situation of workplace sexual harassment can prevent a bystander from intervening. It closely examines the role that gender plays in an individual’s likelihood to intervene or to stigmatize and ostracize a victim. Findings from the current study indicate that ramifications of intervention, particularly threats to job security, was related to female bystanders’ likelihood to intervene in instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. Findings from the current study also indicate that workplace power dynamics, especially perceptions of male leaders in power, influenced female bystanders’ empowerment to intervene. Additionally, the current study finds that social relationships play a role in the likelihood of intervention as well as the likelihood to serve as support for victims. These findings are important in knowing and understanding the range of implications that intervention can have on employees.

Date

October 2017

Subject

Industrial and organizational psychology

Document Type

posters

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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Female Bystander Intervention in Incidents of Workplace Sexual Harassment

The current study addresses the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace and explores the roles of bystanders, or those who witness these encounters, during and after events of workplace sexual harassment. It qualitatively investigates how perceptions of organizational sexual harassment situations influence bystander intervention. It places particular focus on female bystanders’ impressions of female victims. It also considers the role that stigmatization of a victim plays in the intervention of these female bystanders in incidents of workplace sexual harassment. This investigation explores the repercussions of associating with a stigmatized female victim and how the ramifications of females getting involved in a situation of workplace sexual harassment can prevent a bystander from intervening. It closely examines the role that gender plays in an individual’s likelihood to intervene or to stigmatize and ostracize a victim. Findings from the current study indicate that ramifications of intervention, particularly threats to job security, was related to female bystanders’ likelihood to intervene in instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. Findings from the current study also indicate that workplace power dynamics, especially perceptions of male leaders in power, influenced female bystanders’ empowerment to intervene. Additionally, the current study finds that social relationships play a role in the likelihood of intervention as well as the likelihood to serve as support for victims. These findings are important in knowing and understanding the range of implications that intervention can have on employees.