If you look at the news, it becomes clear fairly quickly that women most often face sexual harassment in the workplace and elsewhere. It can and does happen to men — and this is not to detract from that fact in any way — but it’s not as common.
What does the divide look like? In one study, just 16.1% of men reported sexual harassment. The rest were women. Another data set put it at 17.6%. Another report put it at about 17%, or almost one out of every five complaints — technically, a true one-in-five ratio would be 20%.
For both men and women, experts do point out that harassment on the job is underreported. They note, though, that this happens even more often with men. They’re more likely to stay quiet, while women are more likely to speak up.
Why is this? Men often feel like it shouldn’t bother them. That’s the stereotype. They try to act like it doesn’t. Sometimes, they feel embarrassed. They don’t want others to know what is happening. They may be very bothered by the activity and say nothing in an attempt to conform to society’s ideals.
Another issue is that some men think that others will not even believe the report. They may not say anything because they feel like no one will take it seriously and nothing will change anyway.
Both men and women need to understand that harassment on the job is illegal and unacceptable. No one should feel like they have to stay quiet. Everyone should know what legal rights they have.