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Methodology and the Challenges of Studying Sexual Harassment
Methodology and the challenges of studying sexual harassment

Researching workplace sexual harassment presents not only a number of challenges common to work on many psychosocial phenomena but some unique attributes as well. Because sexual harassment rarely takes place in “public,” visible to many witnesses, and because it represents a situation that lacks agreed-upon conceptual definitions, knowing whether it has occurred and its nature or severity depends upon individual self-reporting. This alone presents grave research and measurement problems. Add to this the fact that sexual harassment involves an often “taboo” topic that may be associated with psychological processes that foster denial and requires that respondents remember and report accurately on what may have been (or still is) a traumatic ...

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