Study Finds Women Are More Passive When Confronted With Sexual Harassment Than They Predict They Would Be

A new study published in the journal Organization Science finds that women are more passive when confronted with sexual harassment in the workplace than they predict they would be. And because women believe they will mount a more aggressive response than they actually do, women tend to be highly critical of other women who are passive when confronted by sexual harassment.

Ann Tenbrunsel, the Rex and Alice A. Martin Professor of Business Ethics at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and one of the co-authors of the study, states, “If we can increase the accuracy of our predictions and realize we won’t stand up for ourselves as often as we would like to think, we will be less condemning of other victims.”

Professor Tenbrunsel is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She holds an MBA and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She is the co-author of Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press, 2011).

The paper, entitled “Double Victimization in the Workplace: Why Observers Condemn Passive Victims of Sexual Harassment,” can be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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