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Sexual Harassment Predicament and Analytical Solutions


Sexual harassment violates both State and Federal law (Marshall 104). Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that involves sexual advances that are unwelcome and sexual favors requests. Sexual harassment can be physical or verbal. Sexual harassment is regarded as physical when it involves energy while it is verbal when insults and offensive remarks are made about a person’s sex (LeMoncheck 67). For example, making offensive comments about women is illegal and can be regarded as sexual harassment. In the given case of Tufts University, sexual harassment is prohibited (Bedau & Barnet 38). It is against the University’s policy to harass anybody sexually and anybody liable for the crime faces disciplinary action. The matter of sexual harassment has been under scrutiny in the University with some employees, agents, and students seeking clarification on what would constitute harassment. Many people are confused on where the line is between inoffensive flirtation that is harmless and sexual harassment (LeMoncheck 83).

An analysis conducted by the University, regarded for that sexual harassment to be considered by the University board there should be sexual favors or sexual advances happening within the University academic term or employment term. If such conduct whether physical or verbal affects and interferes with an individual academic performance (in the case of a student) and in the case of an employee, the University becomes a hostile, intimidating, and offensive environment to work (Bedau & Barnet 114).

Analysis of Sexual Harassment in School

In a school environment, everyone can be a victim of sexual harassment. It can involve a teacher and student, an instructor and instructor, a student and a student, staff member, and student, or other relationships among co-workers, colleagues, and peers (Bedau & Barnet 39)

The behavior that would constitute sexual harassment include ‘obvious or subtle pressure for sexual favors’, persistent request for dates, offensive email messages of sexual nature, comments and sexual jokes, physical contact that is unwanted such as pinching, constant brushing against a person’s body or patting(LeMoncheck 101). Other actions included in the list are whistles, lewd remarks, and display of offensive pictures, which are a sexual or personal references to one’s anatomy (Bedau &Barnet 139)

However, sexual harassment can be perceived or interpreted differently depending on the individual and the working environment. This is because several sexual behaviors are perceived as less offensive by males (Bedau &Barnet 142). This is because using a word that may be termed as sexual violence by women if would count as a flatter or a compliment by men. This may account for women reporting more negative outcomes of sexual harassment than men in the workplace (Bedau & Barnet 147) Due to this, enhancing or educating people about what sexual harassment entails becomes a challenge.

University administration guards the victim of sexual harassment against retaliation. It is illegal if a student or employee is retaliated for filing a sexual harassment complaint or for helping in the investigation in such a case. In Turf University, any act of sexual harassment is punishable and the person committing the crime can face the following disciplinary action.

  • His/her job can be terminated
  • He/she can be denied promotion if he was eligible
  • An individual can be demoted from his current position
  • If it is a student, he/she can face suspension or can be given a letter of reprimand.

Nevertheless, these penalties fail to be practical enough since even though sexual harassment is commonly spoken about, it is a subject that causes great tension, discomfort, and ultimately. Therefore some people have preferred not to talk about it since reporting of information relates to age, level of education, among other factors(Bedau &Barnet 153)

Analytical Solutions to Sexual Harassment

Every case of sexual harassment is unique (Paludi & Richard 18). It is, therefore, necessary to investigate and understand the nature of the complaint before determining the most appropriate option. The solution to sexual harassment at Tufts University can either be formal or informal(Bedau &Barnet 186). The victim of the harassment is highly advised not to keep quiet and do anything as there are many ways the School can help.

Here are a few tips that people are advised to follow in case they believe they are being sexually harassed:

  • They should gain courage and tell the harasser “No”. No more no less (Marshall 158).
  • If the harasser has been harassing for some time, a written complaint to him/her describing which particular behaviors are threatening and offensive is recommended. The complaint should be given to the harasser and the harassed should keep a copy.
  • Just in case sexual harassment has taken place, the victim should ensure that she keeps track of time, place, date, and witnesses in case of any (Marshall 138). The victim should be aware of the nature of harassment and any cards, letters, or notes written by the abuser should be kept safely.
  • The victim should report to the known authorities immediately to be advised on the next step to undertake. In the case of Tufts University, victims are advised to seek assistance from Health Services psychiatrists, Counseling Center, Campus Chaplains, or Health Services, counselors.
  • Tufts University has a laid-out procedure for sexual harassment grievances that every victim is advised to utilize in case of such an incident.

Sexual harassment claims can either be resolved formally or informally. Every campus has a resource person appointed in dealing with a sexual harassment case. These cases are required to be handled confidentially while making sure that everyone is given an Equal opportunity. The Tufts University resource people include “Tufts dean organizations”. The organizations include; “Health Education Program; Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Resource center; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Asian American Center” among others (Bedau &Barnet 207).

The informal way of solving a sexual harassment case involves the two parties discussing. In case the two people do not come with a solution or an agreement, the complainant should consult a supervisor, Human Resources, or an administrator on an informal basis. The matter, in this case, should be handled with the required confidentiality. In case after giving the case reasonable time a resolution cannot be reached, the Institution’s sexual harassment grievances procedures should be followed (Paludi & Richard 47).

Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure involves the complainant filing his/her grievance to the appropriate resource persons. The grievance filed should be in writing and all the necessary information provided. The information includes “the harassment complained of, the abuser alleged of the harassment, and the resolution that was sought” (Marshall 144). The University grievances procedure state that the grievance should be filed “within 90 days” following the incident. In case there are justifying circumstances, the University may extend the period.

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination, which offends state and federal law. It violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Marshall 158). The main debate regarding the issue is what actions would amount to sexual harassment. Physical and verbal conduct that is offensive and sexual amounts to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment usually occurs with a promise that the victim will be offered job promotions or increased wages in case of employment (Ibid 166). In the case of students, they are promised better grades and other favors.

In case sexual harassment has occurred, a solution should be sought either formally or informally. The first step in case of such accusations is to ensure that the behavior was offensive to constitute sexual harassment. The complainant and the alleged person should try solving it informally. Just in case it fails, the incident should be reported to the required authorities and a written statement taken. The alleged person should then be punished according to the laid down rules.

Works cited

Barnet, Sylvan and Bedau, Hugo Adam. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, With Readings. Bedford: MK Bedford / st. Martins, 2009. pp 36 – 414

LeMoncheck, Linda and Hajdin, Mane Sexual harassment: a debate. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 pp 66 – 221

Marshall, Anna-Maria. Confronting sexual harassment: the law and politics of everyday life. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2005 pp 102 – 72

Paludi, Michele Antoinette and Barickman, Richard. Academic and workplace sexual harassment: a resource manual. SUNY Press, Albany, NY: 2001 pp 16 – 144


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