Mad (harassed) Men

In the male-dominated work-place, it's hard to imagine a thirty-something male chief executive giving in to a sustained campaign of harassment by a female boss. We don't have to envisage a 'Mad Men' type world where men hold the power and women are either secretaries or housewives but we're more used to women being the subject of sexual, verbal of mental harassment at work. Said women in particular are so used to it as well, that according to one study, they have developed more profound ways of coping with inappropriate behaviour at work than men.

The study, led by Isis Settles, a Michigan State University psychologist, pinpoints the fact that women have been enduring unwanted sexual advances and forward behaviour for some time and as such, might expect such conditions where they work. Men on the other hand haven't developed such coping mechanisms, Eurkalert informs us.

'For women, sexual harassment was distressing when they saw it as frightening, but not when they saw it as bothersome. 'We were surprised by this finding,' Settles said. 'We thought women would be negatively impacted if they saw their harassment as frightening or bothersome.''

'For men, sexual harassment was distressing when they saw it as either frightening or bothersome, she said.'

''People tend to underestimate the impact of sexual harassment on men,' Settles said. She added that men 'typically haven't had a lifetime of experiences dealing with sexual harassment and may not know how to deal with it when it happens to them.''

That bottle of gin the CEO keeps in his desk might not be the answer to coping best with harassment, unless of course you do work in a sixties-inspired office.

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