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class is recognized as a private harasser, who presents a respectable and pro-
fessional demeanor, but harasses victims when a discreet opportunity pre-
sents itself. For example, when they are alone with their target, such as in a
private office, their demeanor often becomes aggressive or disrespectful.
Another common class of harasser was described as a dominance harasser,
such as an employee who engages in harassing behavior as a means of boost-
ing their ego. The final category was identified as strategic or territorial har-
assers who are primarily interested in maintaining workplace privileges or
The recent economic downturn brought with it some dramatic changes in
the number and variety of sexual harassment incidents. Quite a few wri-
ters, including Vanderbilt University economist Joni Hersch (2011) ,have
investigated the impact of sexual harassment in the workplace during the
recent economic downturn. Hersch reported that most of the economic
data indicate that the economic downturn and its effect on high unem-
ployment will likely persist for an indefinite period. Hersch noted from
earlier studies that during a time of very high and persistent unemploy-
ment, people are more fearful of leaving jobs and/or filing complaints of
sexual harassment.
Hersch reviewed many recent claims filed with the Equal Employment
Opportunities Commission and compared the claims and filings of sexual
harassment by sex, age group, and industry. Consistent with other findings,
Hersch was able to confirm that sexual harassment during the economic
downturn increased for both men and women, but the actual incidences
of claims and fillings were not available. Hersch's analyses of EEOC data
during the same period indicated that, although many claims were not
filed, claims for women showed they were six times more likely to be har-
assed than their male counterparts. It was also reported that they were
most likely to be sexually harassed in workplaces that employed small
numbers of women.
Sexual harassment as it relates to the economic downturn has been
found to have important consequences for problems beyond just financial
insecurity. As economically devastating as sexual harassment has been for
employees in the workplace, other serious social and psychologically
related factors have become exacerbated as well. Lessons learned before
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