The Impact of Sexual Harassment on Military Personnel: Is It the Same for Men and Women?

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research in the civilian workplace has documented the serious psychological, health-related, and job-related outcomes of sexual harassment of women by men. The question of whether men experience sexual harassment similarly has more recently been proposed (Berdahl, Magley, & Waldo, 1996; Popovich, Campbell, Everton, Mangan, & Godinho, 1994; Vaux, 1993; Waldo, Berdahl, & Fitzgerald, 1998; Waldo & Magley, 1996), resulting in considerable debate regarding not only the extent of the outcomes of such experiences but also the sex of the offender. This study directly compared outcomes of sexual harassment for men and women utilizing data from the U.S. Department of Defense's (1995) recent gender issues survey. The results of both linear and quadratic regression analyses indicate that within the range of similar experiences, sexual harassment exerts a negative effect on male and female personnel in similar ways on 3 sets of outcomes: psychological, health, and job-related. Three differences emerged, however, suggesting differential experiences of sexual harassment for men and women. First, women were more likely to have been sexually harassed than were men. Second, women experienced sexual harassment at higher frequencies than did men; the negative impact on women, both individually and as a group, is thus considerably more pronounced. Finally, women almost always experienced sexual harassment from men; men were somewhat more likely to experience such behaviors from men than from women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-302
Number of pages20
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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