Hong Kong – November 20, 2008 – A new study in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly examined the effects of workplace sexual harassment and found that employees who were harassed report lower levels of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance. Employees also experienced higher levels of psychological distress and physical problems than those who were not harassed.
Darius K-S Chan, Chun Bun Lam, Suk Yee Chow, and Shu Fai Cheung examined the job-related, psychological, and physical outcomes of sexual harassment in the workplace. Using some statistical techniques, the researchers analyzed findings from 49 studies on workplace harassment, with a total sample size of 89,382 people, to investigate the effects of sexual harassment and job-related outcomes. The sample consisted of employees from different countries, with Americans being the vast majority.
Female employees did not appear to be more strongly impacted than males. However, age did play a role. Sexual harassment experiences were found to be more consistently tied to job-related outcomes, psychological well-being, and physical health among younger employees than older employees.
"An accurate understanding of sexual harassment outcomes sustains organizational efforts directed at preventive information and legislation," the authors conclude. "Our results provide solid information for organizations to address the issue of sexual harassment."