COMPLAINANT BEHAVIORAL TONE, AMBIVALENT SEXISM, AND PERCEPTIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Richard L. Wiener, Roni Reiter-Palmon, Ryan J. Winter, Erin Richter, Amy Humke, Evelyn Maeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research has examined the impact of the law on decisions made about social sexual interactions in the workplace in the context of a variety of individual difference variables including gender of the observer and sexist attitudes, as well as situational factors including legal standard and prior exposure to aggressive and submissive complainants. The current study continued this line of inquiry by testing whether hostile or benevolent sexist attitudes behaved differently under manipulated exposure to aggressive and submissive complainants. Full-time workers watched 1 videotape in which aggressive, submissive, or neutral (i.e., businesslike) women complained that male coworkers sexually harassed them; then, participants viewed a second complainant who always acted in a neutral behavioral tone. In the first case, participants high in hostile sexism who took a reasonable person perspective (but not those with a reasonable woman point of view) and all men who viewed an aggressive complainant found less evidence of harassment. With the second set of allegations, female workers who were exposed to a submissive complainant in the first case found less evidence of harassment against the neutral complainant, suggesting that exposure to a submissive complainant triggered some type of victim blaming in female workers. Policy and training implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-84
Number of pages29
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

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Sexual Harassment
Sexism
female worker
sexism
sexual harassment
legal factors
Videotape Recording
co-worker
Interpersonal Relations
Individuality
Workplace
evidence
workplace
worker
human being
Law
gender
interaction
Research
time

Keywords

  • aggressive and submissive complainants
  • ambivalent sexism
  • sexual harassment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

COMPLAINANT BEHAVIORAL TONE, AMBIVALENT SEXISM, AND PERCEPTIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. / Wiener, Richard L.; Reiter-Palmon, Roni; Winter, Ryan J.; Richter, Erin; Humke, Amy; Maeder, Evelyn.

In: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 16, No. 1, 01.02.2010, p. 56-84.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wiener, Richard L. ; Reiter-Palmon, Roni ; Winter, Ryan J. ; Richter, Erin ; Humke, Amy ; Maeder, Evelyn. / COMPLAINANT BEHAVIORAL TONE, AMBIVALENT SEXISM, AND PERCEPTIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. In: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 2010 ; Vol. 16, No. 1. pp. 56-84.
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