Institutional Equity and Compliance

Sexual Harrassment


How to Recognize Sexual Harassment

There are no "typical" harassers or victims of harassment. Statistics show that although most alleged harassers are male, most males do not harass. Likewise, although statistics show that females are more likely to be alleged victims of sexual harassment, males can be victims too.

The following are examples of behaviors generally viewed as sexual harassment when they are unwanted.

Peer harassment can include all of these behaviors:

  • direct or indirect threats or bribes for unwanted sexual activity;
  • sexual innuendoes and comments;
  • asking or commenting about a person's sexual activities;
  • humor or jokes about sex or females/males in general;
  • sexually suggestive sounds or gestures, including sucking noises, winking, and throwing kisses;
  • pestering a person for dates or sexual behavior;
  • touching, patting, pinching, stroking, squeezing, tickling, or brushing against a person ;
  • giving a neck or shoulder massage;
  • rating a person's sexuality or attractiveness, as on a scale of one to ten;
  • ogling or leering, such as staring at a woman's breasts; 
  • spreading rumors about a person's sexuality;
  • graffiti about a person's sexuality;
  • insulting and belittling a person - sexual ridicule;
  • letters, notes, telephone calls, or materials of sexual nature;
  • pejorative (sexist or stereotyped) comments about females;
  • displaying pictures, calendars, cartoons, or other materials with sexual content;
  • stalking a person either inside or outside an institution; and
  • attempted or actual sexual assault.