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Sexual harassment not just a problem for females in the workplace

Given the recent presidential election and a number of high profile stories involving female television personalities, sexual harassment is a popular topic of discussion. While the harassment of female employees gets a lot of press and continues to be a widespread problem, employers in Miami should be aware that this is not solely a female problem and that men can also be victims of sexual harassment.

Psychology Today reports that in 2013, 17.6 percent of sexual harassment claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were made by men. In addition, it was found that at least one instance of sexual harassment in the last year was reported by one-third of men who participated in a recent survey. This is notable since most academic research into sexual harassment is focused on employees who are women.

Many workplaces encourage men to act a certain way and that is often in a manner that is stereotypically masculine. Anyone who does not fit that mold may then be singled out and harassment can persist. And yet, even if men do experience sexual harassment and report it to their supervisors or human resource department, they are less likely to be taken seriously than women are.

While women are of course capable of sexually harassing a male coworker, most instances of men being sexually harassed come at the hands of other men according to Monster. Discrimination against homosexuals is prohibited by law. However, heterosexual men can harass other straight men in several ways, including using language that is aggressively sexual, referring to a male co-worker using derogatory feminine terms or mimicking physical sexual acts. This is why have a strong anti-harassment policy in place that is clearly stated is important for employers who wish to avoid these types of problems.

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