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Workplace sexual harassment training may do more harm than good

When men are found to have engaged in sexual harassment in Texas or elsewhere, workplaces are often motivated to institute sexual harassment training to prevent these kinds of incidents in the future. Sexual harassment can occur in just about any workplace environment, including universities and in the entertainment industry. According to new research, however, sexual harassment training might actually have the opposite effect on workers.

The new research suggests that, instead of helping men to avoid this type of conduct, the sexual harassment training might decrease a man's ability to perceive improper behavior and increase the likelihood that he will blame his victim/s. After completing the sexual harassment training, the gender biases of these men frequently ended up being reinforced. In other words, the training was recently found to activate gender stereotypes instead of successfully challenging them.

Researchers said one feeling among some men that may be confirmed during sexual harassment training is that women are duplicitous in seeking sexual attention while not wanting sexual harassment. Part of the reason that sexual harassment training may be ineffective is that it typically features unrealistic and cartoonish workplace harassment examples. More research might be necessary to determine what really works to prevent sexual harassment.

If sexual harassment occurs in a Texas workplace, the employer may face civil claims for financial damages and other relief. Sexual harassment is a pernicious offense and can include such offensive conduct as having to succumb to a boss's sexual advances as a condition of employment. A victim of workplace sexual harassment has the right to file a claim against his or her employer, which may lead to the entry of a monetary judgment and/or other remedies ordered by the court, depending on the facts of the case.

Source: nymag.com, "Research Shows Anti-Sexual-Harassment Training Could Have Opposite Effect on Men", Dayna Evans, May 2, 2016

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