men can be victims of sexual harassment too

Sexual Harassment Is Everyone’s Problem

Dear Mr. Dad: Over the past month, I don’t think there’s been a day without a news story of some famous person being accused of sexual assault or harassment. I’m disgusted by these men’s behavior, but I’m concerned that one group of victims is being left out: men who are assaulted or harassed by women. At my last job, my female boss frequently made suggestive comments to me, touched my butt, and on several occasions told me that if I slept with her, it would be good for my career. I reported her to HR, but was told that men are the only ones who can sexually harass and that I should just enjoy it. I dropped my complaint and ended up quitting. I can’t believe I’m the only guy out there who’s been through this. Am I?

A: Sadly, you’re not alone. Male-on-female sexual harassment and assault is the most common kind (think Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, and Louis C.K.), followed by male-on-male (think Kevin Spacey). But female-initiated harassment and assault are a lot more common than most people think—and they get practically zero attention. How common are they? Well, accurate data is hard to come by, because men drastically underreport being the victim of any kind of crime—especially if it’s at the hand of a woman or has anything to do with sex (more on that below). That said, according the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), about 17% of charges of sexual harassment are made by men. And a study done in Australia—where their sexual harassment/assault statistics are nearly identical to ours—found that about 5% of all formal sexual harassment complaints were lodged by men against women.

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Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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