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Cultural Perceptions of Sexual Harassment

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Title: Cultural Perceptions of Sexual Harassment
Authors: Freitas, Rebecca
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Communication differences, strategies and contact norms between cultures account for some of the misunderstandings of messages and behaviors that may or may not be perceived as sexual harassment. This study investigated perceptions and definitions of sexual harassment from a cultural perspective. The purpose and importance of the study was to determine the extent to which cultural perceptions and definitions of sexual harassment differ from that of previously reported Western standards. The sample included 48 foreign college students, who represented either contact or non-contact culture sub-groups. Three hypotheses were tested: (1) persons from contact cultures will perceive immediacy behaviors as comfortable and will therefore not define these actions as sexual harassment; (2) persons from non-contact cultures will perceive immediacy behaviors as uncomfortable and will therefore define these actions as sexual harassment; and (3) potentially sexually harassing behavior, such as those behaviors involving touch and sexual contact, will be identified and defined as sexual harassment by both sub-groups. Findings provided partial support for Hypotheses 1 and 2 and strong support for Hypothese 3. The implications of such findings indicate a need for new definitions of sexual harassment that are culturally sensitive.
Pages/Duration: 21 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for Communication

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