Do Men's and Women's Experiences of Sexual Harassment Differ? An Examination of the Differential Test Functioning of the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire

Michelle A. Donovan, Fritz Drasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ; Fitzgerald, Gelfand, & Drasgow, 1995; Fitzgerald et al., 1988) was originally developed to assess women's experiences of sexual harassment. It was subsequently modified for use by the armed services for inclusion in the gender issues survey (U.S. Department of Defense [DoD], 1995); the revised version is called the SEQ-DoD. In this article, we investigate whether the SEQ can be used to assess men's experiences of sexual harassment. To this end, a newly developed item response theory (Hulin, Drasgow, & Parsons, 1983) procedure, the differential test functioning (Raju, van der Linden, & Fleer, 1995) analysis, was used to examine the measurement equivalence of the SEQ-DoD across men and women. Results indicated that the SEQ-DoD did not function equivalently across men and women. The differential test functioning analysis did indicate, however, that the SEQ-DoD would provide equivalent measurement across men and women if 4 of the items that focused on a sexist environment (e.g., "Treated you 'differently' because of your sex") were removed. The implications of these findings for the measurement of sexual harassment across men and women are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-282
Number of pages18
JournalMilitary Psychology
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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