If you are like many Americans, you might think sexual harassment at work is something only women experience. While it is true that women are more frequently the targets of inappropriate comments and conduct, men certainly can encounter sexual harassment in the workplace.
According to reporting from NPR, 43% of men say they have experienced sexual harassment during their lifetimes. This number is unacceptably high, of course. Still, if you are unsure whether you might be a victim of sexual harassment, you should know exactly how it looks.
Unwelcome sexual advances
While it might be acceptable for a colleague to ask you for a date, he or she should accept your refusal and not continue to bother you. After all, unwelcome sexual advances at work almost always translate to sexual harassment.
Requests for sexual favors
Under no circumstances should you have to exchange sexual favors for advancement or other perks at work. You also should not have to have sex to keep your job or avoid discipline. Simply put, if your manager or anyone else requests sexual favors, you are likely experiencing sexual harassment on the job.
Sexually charged jokes or comments
The workplace is not an appropriate place for sexually charged jokes or comments. If your colleagues or others routinely engage in off-color commentary, your workplace might be a hotbed for sexual harassment. The same is true if someone at your place of employment comments about your appearance.
Not only can sexual harassment make you feel icky, but it can cause considerable damage to your emotional well-being. Ultimately, if you suspect you might be a victim of sexual harassment, it is probably time to take action to end the mistreatment you are experiencing.