What is it about?
This study looked at the extent to which men and women believe engaging in online and digital sexually harassing behaviours would achieve a positive versus a negative outcome. The focus was on male-on-female harassment and sex differences in expected outcomes were examined in relation to various personality traits and attitudes. We found that, while outcome beliefs related to how severe both sexes rate harassment, expecting a positive outcome from these behaviours had a particularly strong effect on men's perceptions of harassment.
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Why is it important?
Currently, sexual harassment interventions have extremely limited success. Sexual harassment and outcome expectancies - positive and/or negative consequences - and sex differences in sexual harassment perceptions are understudied areas addressed in this study. We demonstrated sex differences and revealed how positive and negative expectations differentially influence perceptions of harassment. Understanding the thoughts and attitudes behind these behaviours will help with proactive intervention development, potentially by addressing skewed outcome beliefs and using educational materials that are sex-specific as needed.
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This page is a summary of: The effects of sex and outcome expectancies on perceptions of sexual harassment, PLoS ONE, December 2021, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261409.
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