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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2007 Jun;75(3):464-74.

Gender differences in experiences of sexual harassment: data from a male-dominated environment.

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Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress DisorderVeterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA.


The goal of this investigation was to examine gender differences in experiences of sexual harassment during military service and the negative mental health symptoms associated with these experiences. Female (n = 2,319) and male (n = 1,627) former reservists were surveyed about sexual harassment during their military service and current mental health symptoms. As expected, women reported a higher frequency of sexual harassment. Further, women had increased odds of experiencing all subtypes of sexual harassment. Being female conferred the greatest risk for experiencing the most serious forms of harassment. For both men and women, sexual harassment was associated with more negative current mental health. However, at higher levels of harassment, associations with some negative mental health symptoms were stronger for men than women. Although preliminary, the results of this investigation suggest that although women are harassed more frequently than men, clinicians must increase their awareness of the potential for sexual harassment among men in order to provide the best possible care to all victims of harassment.

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