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Same-sex harassment and the law

Sexual harassment in California can be seen in many different forms. While the most common scenario is a male harassing a female, this is not always the case. Women can be the perpetrators towards men, and you can also be sexually harassed by someone of your same gender. It is important to be aware of the law and some examples of what may constitute harassment in sexual form.

According to The Globe and Mail, harassment between two of the same sex is not nearly as common as harassment dealing with different genders, but that these cases are on the rise. One of the reasons for this is because the workplace climate is changing in regard to sexual harassment in general and more are willing to come forward when something occurs. Whether it is name calling or behavior that is sexually offensive, harassment is about the exertion of power.

Because it may sometimes be difficult to identify when it occurs, Case Western Reserve University gives some examples of sexual harassment. One should report if any of the following occurs:

  • Rating the sexuality or looks of a person
  • Asking repeatedly for sex or a date
  • Sexual comments or suggestions
  • Any sort of unwanted touch, such as stroking, patting, brushing up against, tickling or squeezing
  • Shoulder massage
  • Jokes of a sexual nature
  • Bribes or threats for sexual favors
  • Stalking
  • Public or private displays containing graphic sexual content
  • Gestures or sounds of a sexual nature
  • Emails, texts, voicemails or letters pertaining to sex

The victim of the harassment should gather as much evidence as possible when reporting the behavior. This may include print-outs of emails, witnesses and notations of date, time and behavior.


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