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Sexual harassment: Men may suffer more ill effects than women

Everyone hears about the high-profile cases that occur in Texas and across the country. Sexual harassment stories, especially when well-known individuals or companies are involved, can be quite newsworthy. Not so well-known are those cases in which men have been the victims instead of women.

One of the factors contributing to a lack of awareness of those men who have been on the receiving end of sexually-based harassment could be that their claims are not always believed. There is also the stigma of the male victim possibly being perceived as 'less virile' after a claim is reported. In such cases, those individuals may find themselves in a position where they will be forced to endure even further abuse.

An international research journal, Body Image, recently published an investigation into the subject in which 2,500 college-age people, both male and female, were surveyed. One of the objectives of the investigation was to determine to what degree sexually-based harassment might affect an individual's risk of developing a dangerous eating disorder. Not surprisingly, women interviewed in the study reported that they developed eating disorders in response to harassment.

The researchers were, however, surprised to learn that the men in the study group were more likely to develop dangerous eating disorders, such as purging, as a result of sexual harassment. The study was the first of its kind to indicate that male victims may suffer greater ill effects than women do. No one working in Texas or elsewhere should be made to suffer any form of harassment on the job and, regardless of one's gender, anyone experiencing such abuse should seriously consider seeking outside and knowledgeable advice and assistance rather than suffering through the offensive behavior and its accompanying ill effects.

Source: Source: news.health.ufl.edu, "Men reporting sexual harassment have more eating disorders," Sheryl Kay, Aug. 9, 2013

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