The authors tested a psycholegal model of how people evaluate social sexual conduct at work with videotaped reenactments of interviews with alleged complainants, perpetrators, and other workers. Participants (200 full-time male and female workers) were randomly assigned to evaluate the complaints with either the reasonable person or reasonable woman legal standard. Participants answered questions about sexual harassment law and completed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory. Participants who took the reasonable woman perspective, as compared with those who took the reasonable person perspective, were more likely to find the conduct harassing; this was especially the case among participants high in hostile sexism. Medium-sized gender effects were found in the severe case but were absent in the weaker, more ambiguous case. The implications of these findings for hostile work environment law are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology