Cross-Cultural Differences in Perceiving Sexual Harassment: Demographic Incidence Rates of Sexual Harassment/Sexual Aggression in Latin America (Survey) by North American Journal of Psychology

Book Review : Cross-Cultural Differences in Perceiving Sexual Harassment: Demographic Incidence Rates of Sexual Harassment/Sexual Aggression in Latin America (Survey)

By North American Journal of Psychology

  • Publication Date: 2008-06-01
  • Genre: Education

Book Review

This descriptive study reports on perceptions of sexual harassment and sexual aggression incidences in Latin America using data from the People's Security Surveys (PSS) conducted with 8108 employees (approximately 48% male and 52% female) from three Latin American countries--Argentina, Brazil, and Chile--who were chosen by the International Labour Organization to answer questions using the same methodology on both a quota sample and questionnaire data. Significant chi-square results show that (1) Latin American sexual harassment incidences vary by country in that (2) employees are most likely to be harassed in Chile (8.7%), followed by Brazil (4.8%), followed by Argentina (3.5%); that (3) Latin American sexual aggression incidences vary by country in that (4) of those employees who reported experiencing sexual aggression, 57.7% were from Brazil, followed by 32.1% from Argentina, followed by 10.3% in Chile. In addition, marital status, age and education impact on sexual harassment and aggression in that (5) those who are not married are more likely to be sexually harassed than those who are married (65.7%:34.3%) but (6) those who are married are slightly more likely to experience sexual aggression than those who are not married (51.5:48.5) (7) Those between 16-34 are most likely to experience both sexual harassment (64.9%) and sexual aggression (73.6%). Finally, those with more education are more likely to be targets of sexual harassment than those with less education (56.2%: 43.5%). Researchers have shown a lot of interest in studying sexual harassment in the workplace (Cortina, Swan, Fitzgerald, & Waldo, 1998; Cortina & Wasti, 2005; Dansky & Kilpatrick, 1997; Gutek, 1985; Huerta, Cortina, Pang, Torges, & Magley, 2006). This is due in part to the massive number of negative outcomes found to result from sexual harassment. For example, findings show that workplace sexual harassment is responsible for psychological conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety that result in declines in organizational performance and productivity (Adams, 1988; Baba, Jamal, & Tourigny, 1998; Williams, Giuffre, & Dellinger 1999). Studies also show that employees' well-being are diminished when they are working in an organizational context perceived as hostile toward women, even in the absence of personal hostility experiences (Miner-Rubino & Cortina, 2004).

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