New Research Shows Who Is Most Likely to Be Sexually Harassed

With the constant flow of sexual harassment allegations that have burgeoned out of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it’s time to ask ourselves two important questions: How pervasive is sexual harassment, and who are the victims?

Sexual harassment

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According to a recent article by the blog Comparably, 26% of women have been sexually harassed at work. Due to the tendency for sexual harassment to go unreported, the number is almost certainly a conservative one.

Comparably has received over 10,000 responses to their simple question: Have you ever been sexually harassed at work? Let’s take a look at a breakdown of the data.

Men vs. Women

The survey shows that over one-quarter of female employees have been sexually harassed. That is more than three times as many as men (8%) who have been sexually harassed at work.

Based on Ethnicity

At 32%, Native Americans in the workplace have been disproportionately sexually harassed compared to other ethnicities. It would seem that African Americans (18%) and Latinos (15%) are also more likely than their Caucasian (13%) counterparts to be sexually harassed at work.

Breakdown by Age

Comparably asked each age group who among them had been sexually harassed at work. As this chart clearly shows, there is little difference in who gets sexually harassed based on age. Workers aged 18–25 do have a slightly higher risk (17%) versus the lowest risk group, workers aged 46–50 (13%). That is a difference of only 4%.

Level of Education

Though the differences among workers with different education levels are not massive, there is a clear trend that those with less education are more likely to be sexually harassed at work. The highest likelihood is among those with only a high school education (21%) and the lowest is those with either a master’s or a bachelor’s degree (12% each).

Based on Experience

The data show that newer employees are more likely to be sexually harassed at work (19%), though they are only 6% more likely to be sexually harassed than those who have worked at a company for over 10 years (13%).

The Takeaway

This report shows that far too many people suffer sexual harassment at work. The report also shows that there are some factors that can increase the likelihood of being sexually harassed.

Workers that are new, young, less educated, minority, and female are in particular danger. But the report also shows that the rest of the working population is not far behind, especially when it comes to demographics like age, years at work, and level of education.

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