Week 10 READINGS
ProfessorPing- Chun Hsiung
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SG Readings Week 10
An Intersectional Analysis of Sexual Harassment in
•Analyzed 60 cases of sexual harassment in rental housing to expand on recent
research addressing this by examining the forms and processes of housing-related sexual
•Study reveals that sexual coercion is the most common form of sexual harassment for
women in housing.
•Also demonstrates the intersections of race, gender and class in shaping this
•Regina who was sexually harassed by her landlord Frank( Penis hanging out guy)
experienced which violated her sense of security and privacy, took place in and around her
home- a place commonly understood as a private space of security and comfort.
•Gender inequality rests on beliefs about the naturalization of power and differences
between women and men, and these beliefs shape men’s and women’s experiences in all
areas of social life.
Understanding Sexual Harassment in Housing
•Most research of sexual harassment is done in the workplace.
•Housing discrimination has focused almost entirely on race rather than gender
•Woman may not report sexual harassment out of fear of retaliation, economic
concerns, embarrassment, lack of knowledge, or concerns about their physical safety and
the safety of their families.
•Reed, Collinsworth, and Fitzgerald examine 3 sexual harassment cases, which
included multiple victims and numerous instances, filed in federal court to identify the
types of sexual harassment in housing and the workplace.
•After the authors identified the instances of sexual harassment reported in the cases, study
volunteers made up of undergraduate psychology students were asked to categorize each instance of
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sexual harassment. The first study group was asked to categorize the individual instances of sexual
harassment without guidance. The second group was given the same individual instances but was asked to
sort the instances based on commonly used categories of harassment identified in studies of workplace
sexual harassment. Finally, each author of the study independently categorized the incidences of
Based on categories revised from the results of the study groups.
•Overall findings indicate that categories of workplace sexual harassment are useful
for categorizing and understanding the forms of harassment in housing.
•Majority of women represented in their data were poor.
•Difference may relate to the fact that harassment in the workplace aims to exclude
women, whom make coworkers see as not belong, whereas attitudes driving sexual
harassment in housing possibly relate to a landlords desire to possess a tenant sexually or a
feeling of entitlement over the tenant, as his “property”
•Landlords have the ability to access women’s home day or night and the power to
•Important to pay attention to intersecting inequalities in housing b/c state and
federal law conceptualize sexual harassment solely as a gender issue rather than a form of
inequality that takes place at the intersection of gender and other inequalities.
•Poor women are vulnerable to sexual harassment by landlords.
•Women reported living in homeless shelters or expressed fear about ending up “on
streets with my children” if they were unable to find housing or lost the apartment that
they lived in at the time the harassment occurred.
The process of Sexual Harassment
•Sexual coercion was the most commonly reported form of sexual harassment,
followed by unwanted sexual attention.
•Landlords typically used their institutional authority in housing in calculated and
conscious ways to sexually harass their tenants.
•Women are evicted if they do not sexual consent to the desires of landlords in the
form of oral sex for lowered rent price, and moving payments for sexual acts.
•Landlords have knowledge of their tenant’s economic status b/c of their institutional
authority, and they used this info to gain access to and manipulate tenants.
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