Measuring Sexual Harassment in the Military: The Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ-DoD)

Louise F. Fitzgerald, Vicki J. Magley, Fritz Drasgow, Craig R. Waldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The harassment of women in the military is receiving increased attention from both policymakers and the popular media. Stimulated originally by the Navy's Tailhook episode in 1991, and more recently by revelations of widespread sexual harassment of female Army recruits, there appears to be a growing consensus that the harassment of female military personnel is a problem with profound consequences for both individuals and the armed services more generally. At the same time, there are few reliable estimates of the actual nature, prevalence, and severity of this problem; those that do exist are marked by a variety of shortcomings. This article attempts to address the issue. We begin by describing the development and measurement characteristics of a military version of the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ-DoD; Fitzgerald, Gelfand, & Drasgow, 1995; Fitzgerald et al., 1988), which was administered to more than 28,000 military personnel as part of the Department of Defense (DoD) 1995 study of gender issues in the services. Following analysis of the structure of the instrument, we examine incidence rates for the effects of gender, race/ethnicity, armed service, and rank. We then discuss options for scoring the SEQ-DoD and conclude with a discussion of the difficult question, "Who should be counted as sexually harassed?".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-263
Number of pages21
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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