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Gender-biased behavior at work: Exploring the relationship between sexual harassment and sex discrimination

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  • Antecol, Heather
  • Barcus, Vanessa E.
  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah

Abstract

This paper examines survey-based reports of sexual harassment and sex discrimination in order to identify the stylized facts about the nature of the relationship between them. In particular, we are interested in assessing whether these concepts measure similar forms of gender-biased behavior and whether they have the same effect on workers' job satisfaction and intentions to leave their jobs. Our results provide little support for the notion that survey-based measures of sexual harassment and sex discrimination capture the same underlying behavior. Respondents do appear to differentiate between incidents of sexual harassment and incidents of sex discrimination in the workplace. There are gender differences in the consequences, however. Both sex discrimination and sexual harassment are associated with a higher degree of job dissatisfaction. However, women's intended job changes appear to be more sensitive to experiencing sex discrimination, while men's are more sensitive to experiencing sexual harassment. Although exploratory, when taken together these results give us hope that in the future sufficiently detailed surveys could provide a useful foundation for quantifying the link between sexual harassment and sex discrimination. They also suggest that the best prospect for developing--and then testing--a conceptual framework of gender bias lies in adopting a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating the insights of disciplines such as sociology, psychology, and economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 782-792

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:5:p:782-792

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

Related research

Keywords: Sexual harassment Sex discrimination Job satisfaction Intentions to quit;

References

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  1. Arthur Van Soest & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith, 2007. "Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales," Working Papers 200714, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2001. "The Sexual Harassment of Female Active-Duty Personnel: Effects on Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Remain in the Military," IZA Discussion Papers 379, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, . "Job Satisfaction, Wage changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 98-06, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  4. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, . "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit: Evidence from the British Nursing Profession," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 01/2, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  5. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2005. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Remain in the Military," IZA Discussion Papers 1636, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Kristensen, Nicolai & WestergÄrd-Nielsen, Niels C., 2004. "Does Low Job Satisfaction Lead to Job Mobility?," IZA Discussion Papers 1026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Barbezat, Debra A & Hughes, James W, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in Labor Markets: The Role of Statistical Evidence: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 277-86, March.
  8. Heather Antecol & Deborah Cobb-clark, 2003. "Does Sexual Harassment Training Change Attitudes? A View from the Federal Level," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(4), pages 826-842.
  9. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
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  12. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1997. "Age Discrimination, Job Separations, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 779-811.
  13. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Sedo, Stanley & Darity, William Jr. & Hamilton, Darrick, 2004. "The labor supply consequences of perceptions of employer discrimination during search and on-the-job: Integrating neoclassical theory and cognitive dissonance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 15-39, February.
  14. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
  15. Cosmides, Leda & Tooby, John, 1994. "Better than Rational: Evolutionary Psychology and the Invisible Hand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 327-32, May.
  16. Basu, Kaushik, 2003. "The Economics and Law of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," Working Papers 03-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  17. Mary B. Hampton & John S. Heywood, 1993. "Do workers accurately perceive gender wage discrimination?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 36-49, October.
  18. David N. Laband & DBernard F. Lentz, 1993. "Is There Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession? Further Evidence on Tangible and Intangible Margins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 230-258.
  19. Böckerman, Petri & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2006. "Interaction of job disamenities, job satisfaction, and sickness absences: Evidence from a representative sample of Finnish workers," MPRA Paper 1800, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Kevin F. Hallock & Wallace Hendricks & Emer Broadbent, 1998. "Discrimination by Gender and Disability Status: Do Worker Perceptions Match Statistical Measures?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 245-263, October.
  21. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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