Navigation Links
Perceptions of similar language may prevent understanding of sexual harassment policies
Date:3/19/2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. Although the Society for Human Resource Management reports that 97 percent of U.S. companies have a written sexual harassment policy, a recent University of Missouri study indicates that those policies might not be effective in preventing workplace harassment. Researchers in the MU College of Arts and Science examined the way individuals define and explain their understanding of flirting and sexual harassment in an organizational setting. The researchers found that individuals' perceptions and their understanding are not always a perfect match.

"When we examined individuals' meaning of the terms 'sexual harassment' and 'flirting,' we discovered that many participates used similar language, but when asked to give examples, definitions, and comparisons of the terms, individuals indicated that the same language could have a wide range of meaning," said Debbie Dougherty, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the MU Department of Communication.

Conducting interviews with individuals from an array of work experiences, Dougherty found that despite the awareness that there were difference in perceptions, most people failed to acknowledge difference in underlying meaning. The participants simply did not consider that their meaning would be different from others. While participants acknowledge that others may perceive behaviors differently, they seemed to assume that they all used the same definition to determine when someone had crossed the same line.

The researchers also found that almost all the participants used some variant of the phrase "crossing the line" to distinguish sexual harassment from flirting, which indicated when flirting behavior became sexual harassment. Using shorthand language, such as "the line" in communication, can create an illusion of shared meaning. This "illusion" makes it difficult for an individual to understand when they have "crossed the line" with others.

"When policymakers create regulations, they need to understand there are underlining differences in meaning, which may make it difficult for policies to be truly effective," said Dougherty. "It is important to understand that a sexual harassment policy is just the first step in stopping harassment in the workplace. Manager and human resource professionals need to continue to provide training and dialog on the topic in order to close the gap between definition and perception."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeffrey Beeson
BeesonJ@missouri.edu
573-882-9144
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. HCD Research and Muhlenberg College Will Use an Index to Monitor Physicians and Consumers Perceptions of Health Care Reform
2. Childrens Self-Perceptions Improve More With Contact Lenses vs. Glasses
3. Under-Treatment of Pain Exacerbated by Public Perceptions of Medicines and Safety
4. Perceptions and experiences of homeless youth vary by race, UCSF study shows
5. MU professor recommends changing drivers perceptions of law enforcement to deter drunk driving
6. Outpatient Service Facilities Face Increasing Competition - Patient Perceptions More Important Than Ever
7. Gender affects perceptions of infidelity
8. New National Public Opinion Survey Reveals Important Findings on Oral Health Care Perceptions
9. Womens Contraceptive Perceptions and Realities Dont Match Up
10. Restaurant inspections -- public perceptions vs. reality
11. Nationwide survey reveals differing physician and patient perceptions regarding impact of UC
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... staff members in 2017 who are passionate about making a difference in the ... and headquartered in Tampa, UMA, a nonprofit healthcare educational institution, has more than ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 19, 2017 , ... Sam & Associates ... to commercial and residential clients in the California Bay Area, is launching a charity ... in the region. , Heart disease is the primary killer of adult men and ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Tribble Insurance Agency, a ... eastern Virginia region, is inaugurating a charity event to honor Chad Phillip Dermyer, a ... duty last year, Chad Phillip Dermyer and his fellow officers were conducting routine stops ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... St. Catherine’s ... Center. , Siena Center is a skilled nursing facility on the grounds of the ... semiprivate rooms. It recently was voted the best nursing home in Mississippi for the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... 2017 Spring Create Real Impact contest from Impact Teen Drivers and California Casualty. ... http://www.createrealimpact.com . , Educational grants totaling $15,000 will be awarded for the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017  Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX ), ... and consumables for the medical and veterinary markets worldwide, ... results for the third quarter fiscal year 2017, ended ... p.m. ET on Thursday, January 26, 2017.  The Company ... year 2017 after the market closes on Thursday, January ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: ... Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged receipt of the Class ... SHP465, a long-acting, triple-bead, mixed amphetamine salts formulation. SHP465 ... Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The FDA is expected to provide ... designated Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... January 19, 2017 While ... serious about reducing the FDA,s regulatory strictness as ... the medical drug industry, many of the leading ... clinical trials and development of advanced drug treatments ... with recent developments include:  Moleculin Biotech, Inc., (NASDAQ: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: