Over the years, many people have believed that the issue of sexual
harassment should not be discussed in public. Sexual harassment was to be
discussed behind closed doors. In spite of this, the social and political
systems have changed instantaneously. This social problem has affected men
and women throughout time, however, it seems that the women of our society
more closely look at this issue. This social topic has encouraged women to
establish organizations in order to help them discuss the issues more openly
and to demand equality including fairness and justice throughout the
workplace and in their social lives as well.

In recent years, sexual harassment has been one of the most serious and
widespread problems found in the workplace. For this reason, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed, by the United Nations in 1948, to
help everyone in their fight for self-respect and dignity. Indeed sexual
harassment is an issue that complicates employment decisions. People also
recognize that it is an issue involving the creation of an antagonistic or
offensive work environment. In many instances, the issue of sexual
harassment is not something minor that can be easily solved.

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The issue of sexual harassment pertains to everyone’s apprehension of an
individual’s comportment due to our societal social norms. Sexual
harassment, in most cases, involves a superior’s behavior towards a
subordinate. As mentioned before, most forms of sexual harassment occur in
the workplace. An employee can charge an employer with sexual harassment as a
result of the misconduct of managers, fellow employees, vendors, and even
customers. Eventually, this can cause a hostile work environment.

It is true, for the most part, that sexual harassment comes in many
forms in the workplace. There are two significant ways in which one can
identify sexual harassment. They are called the “Quid Pro Quo” and the
“Hostile Environment Harassment.” The essence of the Quid Pro Quo theory of
sexual harassment occurs when an employee is confronted with sexual demands
to keep her job or obtain a promotion. This is a true violation of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, which is also referred to as the Title VII Act. Even
though sexual harassment by its very nature is complicated to define, the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides a general description of
sexual advances. The several basic varieties of the Quid Pro Quo harassment
indicate the unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. It
also consist of other verbal or physical conducts dealing with a sexual
nature of constituting sexual harassment when the submission to such conduct
is made either explicitly or implicitly just because a term or a condition of
an individual’s employment. Secondly, the individual is used as a basis for
employment decisions affecting such individual. Finally, the result of such
conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an
individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or
offensive working environment. (Aggarwal, 89-93)
Another form of sexual harassment is a hostile work environment. The
hostile environment theory involves sexual advances between the supervisor
and the employee. An employee’s work performance will be less effective due
to these so-called sexual advances. However, a victim can file a complaint
against their harasser so that they do not continuously force them to
participate. Consequently, they will be forced to hand in their resignation.

This issue of power has nothing to do with sex. For this reason, both
male and females can be the harasser. The harasser’s main purpose is to
force another to feel or act in a certain way. Sometimes, sexual harassment
causes an individual from effectively performing his/her job. As a result,
is undermines an individual’s dignity.
In our society, there are three essential factors that relate to the
issue of sexual advances. These elements are a divergence of perceptions,
the complexity of human behavior and the attitudes of a sexist. (Lindemann,
46-48) It is often difficult to draw a line between what is acceptable and
what is unacceptable in a working environment because of the existence of
these ingredients. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, which can
manifest itself in terms of physical and psychological acts. Physically, the
recipient may be the victim of pinching, grabbing, hugging, patting, leering,
brushing against and forms of touching. Psychological harassment can occur
through the proposal of physical intimacy by requesting dates and sexual
In 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was established, by various
state legislation, to prohibit sex discrimination in the working environment.

After a decade of the enactment of Title VII, the Supreme Court confronted
its first case, Barnes vs. Train,