Essay on Unveiling the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Military

Published: 2023-12-30
Essay on Unveiling the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Military
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Abuse Army Sexual abuse
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 894 words
8 min read

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can be defined as undesirable sexual advances, invitation for special treatment, or any other form of carnal actions which are sexual in nature. when rejection to such type of actions is made openly or indirectly a condition for person employment chances (Whincup, 2016). Or if acceptance to or refusal of such acts or conducts by a person is used as bias in the hiring decisions affecting the said individual (Whincup, 2016). Or in other cases, such behavior has the basis to interfere with individual work performance or creating an environment that is not conducive for such an individual to carry out their critical responsibilities in the workplace (Whincup, 2016).

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It is, however, essential to note that harassment is not sexual and can, on the contrary, involve offensive statements or remarks about an individual's sex. For instance, it is unlawful to harass either a gentleman or a lady by making an invasive statement about males or females in general. Sexual aggravation is not only on one gender (Whincup, 2016). The harasser or the victim can be either male or female, and the victim and the harasser, on the contrary, can of the same gender orientation. Although the sexual law does not prohibit mere teasing, comments that are termed as offhand, or isolated scenarios that are not serious, harassment is unlawful when it becomes frequent or hostile. It creates an offensive work atmosphere, or in case its outcome is biased employment decisions (Whincup, 2016). Sexual harassment can occur in different ways.

What Are the Different Forms It Can Occur In?

Sexual harassment can occur in different circumstances or situations. The harasser, as aforementioned, can be of any gender and might have a direct or indirect relationship with the victim, including the immediate supervisor that the victim deals directly with or a colleague in the same organization but different departments. Some of the forms in which sexual harassment presents itself are through such scenarios like quid pro quo, this in other terms, "do this, and I do this for you." I such a context, it comprises implied or expressed sexual favors in exchange for some other forms of benefits, for instance, a promotion or pay increment or, in other cases, to aver detriment, for example, job termination of position demotion in an organization. The quid pro quo is, however, expressed by a person who is in an influential position in the organization. An example of this kind of sexual harassment would be the manager threatening to terminate an employee employment contract if they do not have sex with the manager.

Sexual harassment can occur in other nature such as discussion of sexual relations or narration of sexual acts in the workplace or different inappropriate location. It can also happen through unpermitted physical contact or touching. And in other cases, through unpermitted sexually explicit emails, texts, or photos. These kinds of scenarios create a hostile work environment.

Does It Occur in Our Military? Explain?

Does sexual harassment occur in the military? The answer is yes. According to research, sexual assault and harassment have continued to rise in the military over the years. The fiscal report released in the year 2019 showed that there were approximately 7 825 cases of assaults the involved the men and women in military service both as subjects or victims, and this accounted for about three percent increase from the cases reported in the year 2018 (Harris et al., 2017).

What Are Some Reasons Employees Do Not Speak Out?

One of the significant challenges in understanding the level of prevalence in sexual harassment and the different ways that this issue can be dealt with is the issue of low incidence discloser and reporting (Kirk et al., 2016). It is determined that even in most states where sexual harassment is reorganized an issue of concern, most victims do not speak out. There are, however, various reasons that lead to victims not speaking out.

The Victims Do Not Know Who to Blame.

There is a lack of understanding, knowledge, training, and education when it comes to the issue of sexual harassment at work. Additionally, with the stigma associated with sexual harassment, not all individuals see it as black and white (Kirk et al., 2016). The sexual harassment of civil rights, training, and anti-discrimination regulations have minimal effects on women in precise when they become victims of sexual harassment and assault.

The Victims Are Afraid of The Repercussions or Retaliation

For instance, according to the TUC report of the year 2016, one out of every five women do not speak out or report cases of sexual harassment (Whincup, 2016). However, of the total number of victims that do claim that nothing changed, additionally, 17 percent of the victim stated that going to the management about the hostile work environment in the organization made their situation even worse. This means reporting of sexual harassment means loss of a job. Therefore, most victims fear that they will lose their jobs, and worse, they suffer the same from other employees or supervisors.


Harris, R. J., Mcdonald, D. P., & Sparks, C. S. (2017). Sexual Harassment in the Military. Armed Forces & Society, 44(1), 25–43.

Kirk, F., Johnson, S. K., & Keplinger, K. (2016, October 04). Why We Fail to Report Sexual Harassment. Hbr.

Whincup, D. (2016, August 17). New TUC report on sexual harassment in the workplace lacks vital statistics. Employmentlawworldview.

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