Sexual harassment can certainly happen to both men and women, and it can happen in any industry. It’s important not to stereotype when talking about incidents like this. Anyone can be a victim or a perpetrator, which is why assumptions shouldn’t be made.
That being said, studies have found that it may happen more often in industries that have long been dominated by male workers. When female workers enter these industries, they may be subjected to higher levels of harassment or discrimination. As one study put it: “Organizational factors, such as male-dominated workplaces, job duties that [are] historically masculine and a climate that tolerates offensive behavior, powerfully predict harassment.”
That study also mentioned that indifferent managers were one of the reasons why harassment was more common. Essentially, in some of these industries, even those who are in supervisor roles will not think that sexual harassment is as common or as big of a deal as is being reported. They may be willing to look away when these things happen. Understanding that they have more freedom to act in offensive ways, workers who are more prone to committing sexual harassment are more likely to do so in this environment.
Work life has really shifted in the United States. Women are now more involved in the workforce than they ever have been before, even making their way into traditionally male jobs. This is all a positive change that moves toward equality, but reports like this show that it can also have negative ramifications. Not all workers are going to react positively to these changes, and that could cause harassment. Those who are being harassed on the basis of their sex or gender must know about all of their legal options at this time.