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Other experts on sexual harassment matters say that the numbers of
claims are still under-reported. This is felt to be mainly due to the
stigma associated with men who are sexually harassed. Mattioli (2010)
found that, although companies have educated employees about
sexual harassment for a long time, some are beginning to make their
messages more male-focused during the economic downturn. They are
increasingly recognizing a need to develop safeguards to prevent poten-
tial litigation.
Case Example
The New York Times in 2007 reported the case of a major hedge-fund
company founded in the early 1990 s, as a “$14 billion group company.”
A scandal erupted when a former employee filed suit against his supervi-
sor who was said to have forced him into taking female hormones and
wearing female clothing. This was in order “to eliminate the trader's
aggressive male attitude so he could become a more obedient and detail-
oriented player” at work. The company vehemently denied the charges
but no settlement was reached in the case.
Kim and Fiske (1999) supported the view that, whatever form it takes,
sexual harassment is predominantly about male dominance and superior-
ity. A number of earlier writers generally support that belief. MacKinnon
(1979) indicated that the unequal status of women in the workplace can
sometimes lead to sexual harassment. It was explained by Benson (1984)
and Grauerholz (1989) that even men in inferior social and economic
roles sense that they can harass women, which indicates an example of
male feelings of dominance.
Tangri, Burt, and Johnson (1982) described sexual harassment as a
means of carrying out unequal male female interactions based upon estab-
lished sex status norms. This is intended to maintain male dominance in the
workplace and can often lead to economic discrimination and emotional
distress. This behavior may also cause women to become intimidated, dis-
couraged, or lead to termination from work. Burgess and Borgida (1997)
reported that women view unwanted sexual attention as more harassing,
threatening, inappropriate, and uncomfortable than do men.
Matchen and DeSouza (2000) studied a unique perception of sexual
harassment in the university setting. It is normally assumed that profes-
sors would likely be the sexual harassment perpetrators. These scholars
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