Many people may think that sexual harassment in the workplace is strictly a woman’s issue. However, it is common for men to be targets of harassment as well.
Men experience sexual harassment more often than people may realize. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that 6,587 people filed charges concerning sexual harassment in 2020. Men filed 16.8% of these charges. While many people may note that this number is much smaller than the percentage of charges filed by women, it is still noteworthy. The number of men who experience sexual harassment and file charges is higher than some people may expect. Additionally, every man who receives negative attention at work may not report the incident. Male employees may feel embarrassed to explain what happened. They may also worry that their supervisor will think badly of them for speaking up.
Why do men experience sexual harassment?
There are several reasons why men are on the receiving end of unwanted attention. According to The Conversation, a company culture that tolerates certain behaviors can result in more incidents of sexual harassment. In this environment, men may be less likely to speak up because their supervisor may see the incident differently.
Additionally, male employees may receive negative treatment if they express pro-feminist views. Sexual harassment could also be more common if a man’s colleagues think that his behavior does not align with their ideas of manly behavior.
How does sexual harassment affect men?
Harassment can have a deep impact on male employees. Some may feel reluctant to go to work and encounter their harasser. Others could experience depression and anxiety. Men’s mental health may decline if they feel that they cannot do anything about the situation.
If men report sexual harassment but do not receive help from their company, they may need to consider other options.