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PSYC 3480 (233)
Chapter 13


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York University
PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 13 – migrant farmworkers in the U.S earn low wages by picking fruits and vegetables in the field – female farmworkers are about 10 times more likely than other female workers to experience sexual harassment and sexual assault – sexual harassment, sexual assault, and the abuse of women share important similarities – one similarity is that all 3 situations involve some form of violence – a second similarity in these three situations is that men typically possess more power than women – sexual harassers are usually persons with power at work or in an academic setting – the media also play an important role in conveying these messages because they show men who are influential, powerful, physically strong, and violent – a third similarity focuses on entitlement – many men have a sense of entitlement based on their membership in the male social group; they believe they have a right to certain privileges and rewards when they interact with women – fourth, in all kinds of victimization women are left feeling even less powerful after the violence – a fifth similarity is that women seldom regain power by reporting the violence committed against them – the final similarity is that across all situations, people often blame the victim Sexual Harassment – sexual harassment refers to unwanted gender related behaviour, such as sexual coercion, offensive sexual attention, sexual touching, and hostile verbal and physical behaviours that focus on gender – most sexual harassment situations occur in wither a work setting or school setting – theAmerican legal system now prohibits two kind of sexual harassment – quid pro quo harassment: a powerful individual in a university or workplace makes it clear that someone with less power must submit to sexual advances to obtain something – hostile-environment harassment: applies to a situation in which the atmosphere at work or school is so intimidating and unpleasant that a student or employee cannot work effectively Why is sexual harassment an important issue? Sexual harassment is important for several reasons – sexual harassment emphasizes that men typically have more power than women in our society – sexual demands are often coercive because women are offered economic or academic advantages if they comply, but harmful consequences if they say no – sexual harassment dehumanizes women and treats them in a sexist fashion; women are seen primarily as sexual beings rather than intelligent and competent employees or students – women are often forced to be silent because they are afraid – if sexual harassment occurs in a public setting, without condemnation from supervisors, many onlookers will conclude that sexist behaviour is acceptable How ofter does sexual harassment occur? – it is extremely difficult to estimate how frequently sexual harassment occurs – the boundaries of sexual harassment are often unclear – people are reluctant to use the label sexual harassment, even when they have experienced clear cut harassment – women employed in traditionally male occupations are especially likely to experience sexual harassment – women in the military frequently report sexual teasing, unwanted touching, and pressure for sexual favours – in all the cultures examined so far, one universal finding is that only a small percentage of women choose to report the sexual harassment to authorities Women's reactions to Being Sexually Harassed – if a woman refuses her boss's sexual advances, she may receive negative job evaluation, a demotion, or a transfer to another job,she may be fired or pressured into quitting – most women experience anxiety, fear, self doubt, embarrassment, helplessness, and depression when they have been sexually harassed – they may feel ashamed, as if they are somewhat responsible for the harassment – may become less self confident about academic or occupational abilities – common physical reactions include headaches, eating disorders, substance abuse, and sleep disturbances – another problem is that the women s friends may not think that sexual harassment is an important problem – females are more likely than males to believe that sexual harassment is a serious problem What to Do about Sexual Harassment How Men Can help – avoid behaviours that women might perceive as sexual harassment – men should speak up when they see another man sexually harassing someone – they need to understand the reality about sexual harassment Society's Response to the Harassment Problem – institutions must be firmly committed to fighting the problem – universities and other organizations need to develop clear policies about sexual harassment – public opinion needs to be changed – people should realize that they must not blame women who have been sexually harassed – the public must also realize that sexual harassment limits womens rights and opportunities in academic and work settings – some men who harass may not be aware that they are creating a problems – others may believe that they have a sanction to harass because of good natured responses from other men – we need to change the uneven distribution of power that encourages sexual harassment Assault and Rape – sexual assault include sexual touching and other forms of unwanted sexual contact – sexual assault is typically accompanied by psychological pressure, coercion, or physical threats – rape can be defined as sexual penetration- without the individuals consent- obtained by force or by threat of physical harm or when the victim is incapable of giving consent – rapist is more likely to be an acquaintance – women who are worried about rape need to be especially concerned about someone they already know, rather than a stranger – in the U.S, many of the states have a policy that a man who has forced intercourse with a woman he knows receives a lighter sentence than a man who has forced intercourse with a stranger – rape is typically more common in cultures where women are clearly subordinate to men – soldiers kill other soldiers, but they also rape women – if a raped woman survives, her own community may reject her How often does rape occur? – estimating the incidence of rape is difficult – one reason is because surveys differ in their definitions of rape and sexual assault – another problem is that women are reluctant to indicate on a survey that they have been raped – only a fraction of rape survivors report the crime to the police – the incidence of rape is especially high for U.S women if they are serving in the military – U.S females soldier who is serving in Iraq is more likely to be raped by another U.S soldier than to be killed by an enemy fire Acquaintance Rape – 85% of rape survivors knew the man who raped them – acquaintance rape refers to rape by a person known to the rape survivor, who is not related by blood or marriage – women who have been raped by a boyfriend are less likely than other rape survivors to describe the situation as a rape – when a women has been raped by a boyfriend or another acquaintance, she is less likely than other rape survivors to report the rape – men are more likely than women to perceive other people as being seductive – some men believe that women want to have sex, even though they have clearly said no – the popular media often blame women for sending wrong messages, rather than acknowledging that men misinterpret the messages – women should be aware that their friendliness may be misperceived by men – men must learn that friendly verbal and nonverbal messages from a woman may simply mean “I like you” or “I enjoy talking to you” The Role of Alcohol and Drugs – about half the rapes in the U.S are associated with use of alcohol by wither the perpetrator or the rape survivor – alcohol clearly impairs people's ability to make appropriate decisions – men who have been drinking tend to overestimate a woman's interest in sexual activity – women who have been drinking are more likely to judge a sexually aggressive situation as being relatively safe and they are less verbally assertive – rohypnol increases sleepiness and the sensation of drunkenness – can be slipped into a woman's drink – the effect is like an alcohol black out; the woman typically has no recall of any events that occurred after she passed out, even a rape attack Women's Reactions to Rape Short-termAdjustment – women report a wide range of feeling during the first few weeks after a rape – some women have an expressive style- they show their feelings of fear, anxiety, anger by crying and being restless – others hide their feeling with a calm and subdued external appearance – self blame is particularly troublesome reaction because in nearly all cases the woman did nothing to encourage the assault – immediately following a rape, women may experience physical pain and she may also experience gynaecological symptoms such as vaginal discharge and generalized pain – women often decide not to make an official report Long termAdjustment – common physical health problems include pelvic pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, vaginal infections, complications during pregnancy, gastrointestinal problems and headaches – women who have been rape are also likely to experience depression, excessive weight loss, eating disorders, substance abuse, and sexual dysfunction – may engage in high risk sexual behaviour and more likely to attempt suicide – post traumatic stress disorder- a pattern of symptoms such as intense fear, heightened anxiety, and emotional numbing after a traumatic event – a woman experiencing PTSD after a rape may report that she keeps re-experiencing the rape, either in nightmares or in thoughts intruding during daily activities Fear of Rape – one problem is that women take numerous precautions to avoid rape by a stranger but they take significantly fewer precautions to avoid rape by an acquaintance, even though they correctly acknowledge that acquaintance rape is more common – the fear of rape drastically reduces women sense of freedom and power The Public'sAttitudeAbout Rape – women who are raped are often doubly victimized, first by the assailant and later by the attitudes of other people – the survivor may find that her own family, friends, court system, and society all tend to blame her and treat her negatively because of something that was not her fault – second victimization increases the likelihood that a woman will develop post traumatic stress disorder – people with traditional gender roles place a greater proportion of the blame on the woman who has been raped – man are somewhat more likely than women to blame the woman who has been raped – college students are more likely to blame a woman for sexual assault if she was verbally coerced, rather than physically forced – people are much more likely to blame the woman who has been raped in an acquaintance rape, rather than a stranger rape – people are likely to hold women more responsible for a rape if she is we
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