Sexual harassment : the nexus between gender and workplace authority : evidence from the Australian public service
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
, p. 345-358
University of Antwerp
Sexual harassment in the workplace is commonly portrayed as the male supervisor harassing female subordinates. Within this popular characterization, the unequal distribution of formal, organizational power is believed to be a necessary precondition for sexual harassment. The traditional cultural image of harassers and targets has however not kept pace with changing workplace realities. Research has indeed found that female supervisors may in fact be more likely to be subjects of sexual harassment. This article uses survey data from the Australian Public Service to explore this kind of contrapower harassment. Results indicate that a strong link between gender, workplace authority, and sexual harassment exists, but also that this relationship is strongly influenced by age.