Women's Center

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted sexual advance, request, verbal, non-verbal, visual, physical conduct or material that is of a sexual or discriminatory nature. Sexual harassment takes many forms and occurs in a variety of settings, including catcalling, groping or flashing on the street and unwanted requests, comments or behaviors in the workplace. Sexual harassment can occur between individuals of the same gender or different genders, can be perpetrated by individuals of any gender, and can affect more than just the direct target, including those who are present in the environment in which it occurs.  Sexual harassment can be debilitating for those who experience it, causing effects such as stress, depression, anxiety, sleep and concentration disorders and substance abuse as well as negative consequences for personal relationships, workplaces/employment and social interaction.

Sexual harassment is typically categorized into two types: quid-pro-quo (this for that), in which a sexual favor is exchanged for a particular benefit or to avoid negative consequences, especially in a workplace, and hostile environment, in which unwanted, severe and persistent remarks, behaviors and advances result(s) in a hostile environment. Hostile environment harassment constitutes the majority of instances of sexual harassment.

According to the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2011 report, 84% of workplace sexual harassment complaints were filed by women, and 70% of them were harassed by a male who was their senior or supervisor in the workplace.

Sexual harassment is a prohibited form of behavior. It violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Title IX educational amendments. If you have experienced or are experiencing sexual harassment, you have many options and rights. For more information or assistance, please visit the Women’s Center or see the Office for Institutional Equity & Access for a comprehensive list of campus and local resources available to you.



U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Office for Institutional Equity & Access, St. Cloud State University

Minnesota State Equal Opportunity and Non-Discriminatio Policy 1B.1

Equal Rights Advocates