Social perception of sexual harassment in informal relations
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Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Submission date: 2021-05-17
Final revision date: 2021-08-27
Acceptance date: 2021-08-28
Online publication date: 2022-02-25
Publication date: 2022-09-30
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2022;10(3):227–233
Perception of sexual harassment in informal relations is a largely uninvestigated topic. This study aimed to bridge this gap by examining the effect of the type of relationship between the perpetrator and the victim on the perception of harassment. Furthermore, we considered potential factors moderating the tested relationships: acceptance of gender stereotypes and sex.

Participants and procedure:
In total, 369 participants were assigned to one of three conditions including a female victim and a male perpetrator who was either her neighbor, coworker, or supervisor.

The participants assessed the harasser to be responsible. The supervisor’s behavior was considered more punishable than that of the colleague or neighbor. The male participants reported that the perpetrator was less deserving of punishment than female participants.

The findings suggest that social norms regarding sexual harassment in formal and informal relationships are similar, excluding harassment by supervisors, which was rated as most punishable.

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