Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Amy Blackstone & Heather McLaughlin
Sexual harassment refers to unwanted sexual attention that occurs at work or in school. Specific behaviors that may qualify as sexual harassment include unwanted touching or sexual advances, invasion of one's personal space, offensive sexual joking or other remarks, and the display of offensive sexual materials such as posters or calendars. Although sexual harassment may occur in settings outside school or work, legal and scholarly definitions of the term typically refer to one or both of these domains. Sexual harassment is relevant to the topic of gender and society because its manifestation demonstrates that gender is a social category that shapes the structure of everyday lives. Women and men are valued differently in U.S. society, as are masculinity and femininity, and sexual harassment is one way that such value differences are expressed and made visible. Sexual harassment also highlights the ways that heteronormative masculine expressions of gender are privileged over ...