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Differences in the perception of and reasoning about quid pro quo sexual harassment

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Abstract:

Quid pro quo (QPQ) sexual harassment, in which sexual compliance is tied to some consequent behavior of the harassing party, can involve two types of social interactions: social exchanges or threats. Two experiments (N = 260) evaluated how QPQ sexual harassment statements were perceived as different types of social interactions due to the manipulation of three variables. Statements were predicted and found to be perceived differently across how they were posed (positive versus negative value statements), across surrounding work contexts (thriving versus failing), and across sex of the harassed perceiver. These differing perceptions also affected subsequent behaviors in reasoning about the harassment situation. Implications of these results are discussed, along with limitations and future research directions.

Keywords: EVOLUTIONARY THEORY; HUMAN REASONING; SEXUAL HARASSMENT; SOCIAL PERCEPTION; WASON SELECTION TASK

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616660110104814

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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