What is sexual harassment?

Any of the following unwanted behaviors may constitute sexual harassment:

wolf whistles
discussion of one’s partner’s sexual inadequacies
sexual innuendo
comments about women’s bodies
“accidentally” brushing sexual parts of the body
lewd & threatening letters
tales of sexual exploitation
graphic descriptions of pornography
pressure for dates
sexually explicit gestures
unwelcome touching and hugging
sexual sneak attacks, (e.g., grabbing breasts or buttocks)
sabotaging women’s work
sexist and insulting graffiti
demanding, “Hey, baby, give me a smile”
inappropriate invitations (e.g., hot tub)
sexist jokes and cartoons
hostile put-downs of women
exaggerated, mocking “courtesy”
public humiliation
obscene phone calls
displaying pornography in the workplace
insisting that workers wear revealing clothes
inappropriate gifts (ex. lingerie)
hooting, sucking, lip-smacking, & animal noises
pressing or rubbing up against the victim
sexual assault*
soliciting sexual services
leaning over, invading a person’s space
indecent exposure

Compiled by Martha Langelan in Back Off! How To Confront And Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers

*According to the US Dept of Justice, “Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”



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