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How men can be sexually harassed at work

When you picture a sexual harassment victim, chances are that a woman is who you imagine. That makes sense, as most claims of sexual harassment do involve women.

However, men experience sexual harassment, too. Often, the harassment occurs in ways similar to the harassment of women. Of course, one big difference in many cases is that male victims do not feel physically threatened by their female harassers. On the other hand, female victims frequently feel physically intimidated.

Pressure to date or to have sex

A boss and an underling work late hours many nights. The boss is in the habit of joking with the underling about them dating, and when the underling says something such as, “I’m too young for you,” the boss responds suggestively.

Such scenarios can and do happen with both men and women. They can occur when both boss and employee are male, too — or female.

Using nicknames

Being called something like “Stud” or even “Little Peter” can be inappropriate at work. Even if you are not the direct target, it can make you uncomfortable to hear someone call another man (or woman) by nicknames. The same principle applies to off-color jokes. Employers have the duty to create a professional atmosphere instead of a hostile work environment.

Being touched

Unlike a female victim of harassment, you might not be afraid of being physically overpowered and raped. However, you may be experiencing inappropriate touches on various places on your body. And, of course, it is possible to be raped without being overpowered.

If you are a man who is experiencing sexual harassment at work, the reasons to stay silent may feel compelling. For example, you might be afraid of your co-workers mocking you, or you could fear losing your job. An attorney should be able to talk you through the process and give you a realistic idea of what to expect if you pursue a claim.

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