When you think about workplace sex discrimination and harassment, you likely think of it as applying to women employees. However, recent research shows that while women experience these prohibited and illegal workplace behaviors more often then men, men likewise experience them. Furthermore, the incidences of male victimization appear to be increasing.
The Conversation reports that between 1997 and 2011, women filed the majority of sexual discrimination and harassment cases analyzed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various fair employment practice agencies. However, the number of complaints filed by men increased by 15% over this same period.
Recent research indicates that upwards of 37% of men experience workplace discrimination or harassment based on their gender, as opposed to 58% of women. Researchers believe, however, that the actual real life ratio is much smaller than that reflected in the reported incidents. Why? Because men tend to simply put up with their own victimization rather than report it.
If you are a man who has experienced workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, but failed to report it, your reasons may include the following:
- You are too embarrassed to report it.
- You feel that reporting it would be “unmanly.”
- You feel that reporting it would stigmatize you.
- You may have found it less threatening or serious than a women would have if she had experienced the same type of treatment.
Mental health impact
Unfortunately, suffering in silence can have a detrimental impact on your mental health. This can exhibit itself in many ways, including the following:
- Feelings of low self-worth
- Alcohol abuse
- Drug abuse
As uncomfortable as it may be, you have every right to report workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. Remember, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits any type of gender-based workplace discrimination.