Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, visual or physical and may take several forms. It ranges from sexual innuendoes made at inappropriate times, perhaps in the guise of humor, to coerced sexual relations. Harassment at its extreme occurs when someone in a position to control, influence or affect another’s job, career or grades, uses their authority and power to coerce the other into sexual relations, or to punish their refusal. Sexual harassment may include:
- Verbal harassment or abuse
- Subtle pressure for sexual activity
- Sexist remarks about another person’s clothing, body, or sexual activities
- Unnecessary/unwanted touching
- Demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning one’s job, grades, letters of recommendations, or similar use of authority or power.
- Physical assault.
- Displays of pornographic or sexually suggestive materials
- Obscene gestures
- Leering or staring at your body
- Other behavior of a sexual nature where:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or participation in a University sponsored program or activity, or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is or may be used as the basis for academic, employment or other University decision affecting that individual, or
- Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s academic and/or work performance, participation in University sponsored programs or activities, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, educational, or residential environment provided by the University.
Sexual harassment can occur when one person has power or authority over another; however, it may also occur between individuals of equal status or rank within the University. Sexual harassment may occur between males and females and between persons of the same gender. Harassment between individuals of different genders does not constitute sexual harassment where the difference in gender is the sole reason for the complainant’s identifying the conduct as sexual in nature.