Sexual harassment is a daunting problem affecting many people’s lives and work. Sexual harassment at the workplace may cause serious frustration and even disrupt the career development of those affected by it. Harassment creates hostile environments where targets may become less dedicated to their work, less motivated, and more inclined to absenteeism or other behaviors negatively affecting their work. The careers of harassers (or alleged harassers) can be impacted, too. For example, a woman I know experienced sexual harassment from her coworker who repeatedly made vulgar remarks about her appearance. She told him she was not litigious but would report if the harassment continued. She did report, and the harasser was fired. The stages of her internal struggle were similar to those described by Adams, Hayes, and Hopson (1977). Immobilized at first and subsequently self-doubting and vulnerable, she managed to overcome the frustration and choose a course of action that pursued resolving the conflict. With the feeling of inspiration to stand up for herself, she confronted the harasser. In the end, she internalized a new belief, strengthened her values, and acknowledged the need to struggle against harassment whenever she might face it.
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Adams, J. D., Hayes, J., & Hopson, B. (1977). Transition: Understanding & managing personal change. New York, NY: Allanheld & Schram.