SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

More Men Claim Sexual Harassment

More Men Claim Sexual Harassment

Hearing news of a woman filing suit against her workplace due to sexual harassment is something we hear about almost daily, but to hear that a man is the latest victim of sexual harassment is something of a rarity.  According to the latest reports, however, it is becoming a lot more common for men to speak up in regards to this type of crime.  Though women are still making a lot more claims, men's numbers are steadily growing.

According to a recent report from ABC News, there were 12,700 complaints of sexual harassment filed with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission last year.  Of those complaints, about 16 percent of them were filed by men.  That number has risen dramatically from the 9.9 percent of male filed complaints reported 15 years prior. 

Officials are unsure whether men are experiencing more sexual harassment these days or if they are just more apt to speak up about it.  Ernest Haffner, a senior attorney with the Equal Opportunity Commission, says "There are more decisions in the courts dealing with sexual harassment by men - it could be that just more men are aware of their rights as they speak to attorneys."

Whatever the reason be for more men filing complaints about sexual harassment, it has not gotten any easier for them to prove the crime has occurred.  Many believe there is a stigma in place making it difficult for people to believe men are bothered by sexual harassment.  Attorney Keith Fink, who has represented men who have filed sexual harassment suits says men face this stigma against both male and female-instigated harassment.  Fink says, "People either are homophobic or they think men can weather the storm of verbal barrage better than a female, or they're just not as empathetic as a female (victim)."

It is believed the idea that men are stronger than women and can handle (or even enjoy) sexual harassment in the workplace is making it difficult for men to win their cases in court.  And if they do win a case they are often times awarded a much lesser monetary amount than a woman might get in the same scenario.

What do you think of reports that more men are filing claims of sexual harassment in the workplace?

Do you think more men are becoming victims or is it that men are now feeling they can speak up about it?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
 
 
  • maddie76 By maddie76
    06.13.10  

    Is it really true? If you compare how strong a Man can be if they really have to, to protect there selfs?, some i believe do have problems to see a woman being the Boss. So how will we know, or better when do we know its true?Not like that they cant defend there selfs?

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    06.15.10  

    as if it is any easier for women to prove that they were sexually harrassed? i just find that SOME of the claims (around my work place/department floor) are because they can't stand that a women is bossing them around or the fact that they just dislike thier boss telling them that they made huge mistakes in their work, in which they deserved to be chewed out on. i am not deny that SH doesn't happen for the men though, but i will not file for something unless i have solid proof, unless you will just be another person who just cried wolf.

  • cybrown551 By cybrown551
    06.16.10  

    I think that men are becoming more relaxed with expressing their feelings and not being ashamed of what others may feel. Also, I believe nowadays it is more accepted that a man is able to share their feelings about abuse or other issues.

  • nadinenreyes By nadinenreyes
    06.18.10  

    Many of them still look like a neighbor next door. One day I was doing volunteer work and called on this really nice man with a friend in my community. Then after I introduced him to my husband we came home, he downloaded some applications to his new phone, and we found him on the sex offender application list. It's crazy. I've probably only seen 1 woman offender.

  • sharman421 By sharman421
    06.20.10  

    Both men and women need to be stronger. Of course sexual harassment happens. There are indeed still neanderthals about! In the 60s and 70s it was really rampant because women were beginning to assert themselves and vie for jobs which had previously been male dominated, and men just didn't get it! I used to run across it more times than you can imagine! We all need to rise above all of that nonsense. We are all equals. If either a male or female "harasses" an employee, that employee needs to grow up and stand firm. Stop all the reporting, litigation, and behaving like the "weaker sex"! Unless it is truly a criminal act, we simply need to stand up for ourselves and inform the harasser that he/she needs to STOP.

  • MyEmptyCanvas By MyEmptyCanvas
    06.26.10  

    ** ".... or is it that men are now feeling they can speak up about it?" *** I think it's because they know their rights and just aren't afraid or ashamed to speak up.

  • bernicecookie By bernicecookie
    07.11.10  

    I think too much stress is placed on identifying male and female, especially when it comes to crimes. It doesn't matter if the incident was intentional, if the victim feels as if he/she has been sexually harassed, he/she has been effected mentally and emotionally.To them it is as if they really were. Sex has nothing to do with it. We need to stop profiling, horrible things happen to both sides; when we tear down the barriers between each other we will only then be able to see who the villains really are.

  • Aspiringauthor09 By Aspiringauthor09
    07.17.10  

    I thin kthat more men are speaking up. Now-a-days men aren't as pressured to be strong and try to brush the female harasser off. They'll report it!

  • silverfox2010 By silverfox2010
    08.07.10  

    Anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should be able to work in an environment without sexual harassment. Granted, allegations of abuse are not easy to prove (nor should they be), but when proven, it should not matter to whom the abuse was directed. It should just stop and the abuser fired. Companies, large and small, need to be more sensitive to this. I have known women who used their position to flirt with subordinates, and it wasn't pleasant for anyone to see.

  • hopeEternal By hopeEternal
    08.12.10  

    I work with an agency that helps teach young people still in high school respect boundaries. It was a shock when we began to see more and more females having to take part of our agency. We not only have this kids appointed by court to help with counseling but also to make sure they complete their community service with a legit placement. We have seen just how sexually aggressive the females have become over the past few years. I have no problem believing that the men are finally saying enough is enough just as we women did and are now taking a stand to have their rights heard as well.

More stories like this