Sexual Misconduct Happens to Men, Too

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek December 15, 2017

Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews filed a lawsuit last week stemming from an encounter at a party in 2016, saying a high-powered Hollywood agent groped him. His revelation, along with claims from more than a dozen men who have alleged they were assaulted by actor Kevin Spacey, illustrates that men can be victims, too.

Stories of workplace-related sexual harassment have dominated headlines since news of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged predatory behavior went viral, following a New York Times investigation. More than 100 high-profile men have since been accused of sexual misconduct.

"Once the Weinstein story broke, and these women were coming out and saying what he did, and I just kept hearing ... 'Oh boy, these women, here they come, they just want attention and a payday,' " Crews told NPR.

"And I got angry. I got really angry, because I said, 'They're being dismissed, like this stuff is happening, it happens, it happened to me.' " Time magazine, in fact, recognized Crews this year as one of The Silence Breakers, the publication collectively named as its Person of the Year.  

Sexual Harassment Isn't Just about Men. Women Should Review Their Behavior Too, Says Female CEO 

Although no women have yet been named as sexual predators, and a Google search fails to turn up a single recent case of a woman as aggressor, unwanted advances are not a single-gender monopoly. Also, just because a woman executive may have been a victim of sexual harassment herself does not mean that she is exempt from inflicting similar pain on others.

[SHRM members-only tools and sample policies: Nondiscrimination/Antiharassment Policy and Complaint Procedure]

Yes, Men Can Be Sexually Harassed in the Workplace

For most people, when they think of sexual harassment in the workplace, their mind immediately jumps to an image of a woman being harassed or propositioned by a male co-worker, supervisor or boss. While most cases of workplace sexual harassment do involve female victims, a growing number of cases of both men and women harassing male employees have emerged.
(PLBSMH blog)   

Consider Face-to-Face Training as EEOC Makes Filing Harassment Complaints Easier  

Experts advise that it is time for HR to step up harassment prevention training. The best way to conduct that training, they say, is in person. 
(SHRM Online)   

Kevin Spacey's Alleged Predatory Behavior Shows Why Men Rarely Report Sexual Assault  

Harmful stereotypes about masculinity, along with common myths and misperceptions about sexual violence, make it difficult for men to report harassment and assault.

Quiz: Is It Sexual Harassment?  

Test your knowledge about which behaviors warrant investigation by HR—and possibly the EEOC. 
(SHRM Online)   

5 Ways Men Can Address—and Help Prevent—Sexual Harassment at Work 

It's the responsibility of every employee to speak up, said American Association of University Women CEO Kim Churches. "If you see something, say something." These recommendations on how to be more proactive in preventing future misconduct, and supporting colleagues who may be experiencing harassment, apply to women as well as men. 

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.



Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Search Jobs
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect