13 Jul Why do educated men harass female colleagues at the workplace? Psyche of the Sexual Harasser
Studies were done by the American Psychological Association and Fortis Healthcare, which state that sexual harassment has nothing to do with sexual desire. It is more to do with power and the abuse of that power and authority. Sexual harassment is a manifestation of power play between the two sexes.
But where does this power come from? Power can come in different forms �€” being in a position to affect the promotions, salary, work, etc. of a woman employee, age, experience, physical size, social or economic status, etc. It is not so much the power but the ability to abuse it by suppressing the victim, which creates the imbalance.
Another basis of power is society. Any society which objectifies women or puts them in an inferior or subordinate position to men gives them power over women. It is also a society which defines the ‘proper role’ of a man and a woman. A woman breaking out of that ‘predefined’ role is seen as a rebel and thus needs to be put in her ‘proper place.’
Another study done by University of Missouri-Columbia says the continued problem of sexual harassment lies in the fact how men and women define ‘power.’ For men, power comes from formal authority whereas, for women, anyone who can ‘harm’ them in any way is in a position of power. Thus, a ‘harmless flirtatious’ comment by a male co-worker can be construed as sexual harassment by a female.