Surveys Reveal Pervasive Sexual Harassment of Women Across Industries

This is largely out of the spotlight, and that makes it all the more important. The discrimination against women also manifests itself in a gap in pay — in the U.S., that means women are often payed 80 cents instead of the $1 a male would probably earn. Women want the whole damn dollar, and they should receive it.

Amid a wave of new sexual harassment and assault allegations in politics and news media this week, two polls released Tuesday illustrate how pervasive such behavior is in many other industries across America, with 35-40 percent of women reporting they have been harassed at work.

A survey (pdf) conducted in mid-November by PBS NewsHour, NPR, and Marist found that 35 percent of women and 9 percent of men have “experienced sexual harassment or abuse from someone in the workplace.” A Quinnipiac University poll, also conducted in mid-November, found that 60 percent of women have been sexual harassed generally, and 69 percent of those women said it happened at work; it also found 20 percent of men have experienced sexual harassment, the majority of which also took place at work.

The results follow a series of reports in recent weeks that have highlighted how women working in service industries, such as hotels and restaurants, are especially susceptible to sexual harassment and assault. Other reports have examined how immigrants, particularly those who are undocumented, often experience abuse. Although such findings have been well documented for several years, these issues have received heightened attention lately, as several high-profile people have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct, and survivors have turned to social media with the hashtag #MeToo to share their stories.