Gender differences in the interpretation of social-sexual behavior: A cross-cultural perspective on sexual harassment

John B. Pryor*, Eros R. DeSouza, Julie Fitness, Claudio Hutz, Martin Kumpf, Karin Lubbert, Outi Pesonen, Maureen Wang Erber

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Numerous studies have found gender differences in judgments about sexual harassment. However, most previous research has been conducted on U.S. samples only. The present research examines gender differences in judgments about sexual harassment from a cross-cultural perspective. College students from Australia, Brazil, Germany, and the United States were asked to judge the degree to which a specific interaction between a student and a professor described in varying hypothetical scenarios might be considered sexual harassing and to provide a brief definition of sexual harassment. In some conditions, U.S. women judged specific interactions as more harassing than U.S. men. However, this pattern did not emerge in student samples from other countries. No within-culture gender differences in students' definitions of sexual harassment were obtained, although the results revealed considerable cross-cultural differences. The relevance of these findings for understanding the "reasonable woman" standard in legal proceedings is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)509-534
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
    Volume28
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997

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