Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Sexual harassment--United States--Psychological aspects; Sexual harassment--United States


A new model describing the etiology of sexual harassment, the Four-Factor Model, is presented and compared with several existing models of sexual harassment including the Biological Model, the Organizational Model, the Socio-Cultural Model, and the Sex- Role Spillover Model. A number of risk factors associated with sexually harassing behavior are examined within the framework of the Four-Factor Model of sexual harassment. The risk factors examined include: physical attractiveness of the victim, victim job status, sexist work environment, unprofessional work environment, skewed sex ratios in the workplace, knowledge of grievance procedures for sexual harassment incidents, and sex-role of the victim. Subjects included a total of266 university female faculty, staff and students who completed the SEQ to assess the experience of sexual harassment and a questionairre designed to assess the risk factors stated above. Results indicate that the Four-Factor Model is a better predictor of sexual harassment than the alternative models. The risk factors most strongly associated with sexual harassment were an unprofessional environment in the workplace, sexist atmosphere, and lack of knowledge about the organization's formal grievance procedures for incidents of sexual harassment.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [47]-49)


60 pages




Northern Illinois University

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