Sexual Harassment Continues


January 1996

Sexual Harassment Continues


ccording to a Merit Systems Protection Board survey released late last year, 44 percent of women and 19 percent of men report they have been victims of "uninvited, unwanted sexual attention" while working for the government. MSPB contacted 8,000 federal workers for the survey and found results that echo similar MSPB surveys conducted in 1980 and 1987. In 1987, 42 percent of women and 14 percent of men reported being sexually harassed.

While the number of those who believe they have been harassed has not changed dramatically, the percentage of supervisors and employees who have received training about sexual harassment has risen significantly, with more than 87 percent of supervisors and 77 percent of employees indicating they have had such training. MSPB's report speculates that the slight increase among those who say they have received unwanted sexual attention may actually be a result of various efforts to increase awareness. In light of extensive awareness campaigns and media attention both inside and outside of government, federal workers may now have a broader definition than in previous years of what constitutes uninvited and unwanted sexual attention.

Only about 6 percent of respondents who reported being harassed said they had taken formal action against their harassers.

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