Attitudes Toward Women and Tolerance for Sexual Harassment Among Military Personnel

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Women are more likely to experience sexual harassment in some work settings than others; specifically, work settings that have a large proportion of male workers, include a predominance of male supervisors, and represent traditional male occupations may be places in which there is greater tolerance for sexual harassment. The focus of the study was to document attitudes toward women among military personnel, to identify demographic and military characteristics associated with more positive attitudes toward women, and to examine associations between attitudes toward women and tolerance for sexual harassment. The study was based on data from 2,037 male and female former Reservists who reported minimal or no experiences of sexual harassment and no sexual assault in the military. Results suggest that attitudes toward women vary across content domains, are associated with several key demographic and military characteristics, and predict tolerance for sexual harassment. Implications of the findings and future directions are discussed.

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