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Men can be victims of sexual harassment at work

Not all claims of sexual harassment in the workplace come from women. The number of men who have reported incidents of being harassed while on-the-job in Minnesota and across the country has risen substantially over the past decade, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In fact, the EEOC reported that approximately one-third of working males have filed complaints of unwanted sexual advances and comments in the workplace within the last year. Although most of the studies surrounding sexual harassment at work have focused on women victims, researchers have turned their sights on the growing number of males who have been victimized as well.

What accounts for this rise in harassment toward men? Some people contribute the increased sexual harassment reports to the fact that more women hold high-ranking positions today than they did years ago. With more power at their disposal, some women may take advantage of their male subordinates. Yet, verbal and physical advances toward men do not always come from women. Men may harass other men as a way to humiliate them. In some cases, homosexual males or men who are different from the others may be targeted for this type of behavior.

The Society for Human Resource Management reported that incidents of male sexual harassment have not increased at all. Rather, males are simply coming forward to report the acts, instead of hiding them due to fear of retaliation and embarrassment. Companies that have a rigid anti-sexual harassment policy in place tend to have lower reported cases, according to Psychology Today. Businesses that fail to have clear guidelines prohibiting workplace harassment, however, have greater rates of abuse. 

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