The structure of sexual harassment: A confirmatory analysis across cultures and settings

Michelle J. Gelfand, Louise F. Fitzgerald, Fritz Drasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual harassment is increasingly recognized as a serious social problem with important implications for individuals, organizations, and society as a whole. Despite increased research attention, fundamental conceptual issues remain unresolved. The present paper proposes that sexual harassment is a stable behavioral construct distinct from but related to evolving legal formulations. Based on previous research and theory, we propose a tripartite model of this construct (i.e., gender harassment, unwanted sexual attention, and sexual coercion) and test it through confirmatory factor analysis conducted simultaneously in three populations. Results confirm the generalizability of the construct across settings (workplace and higher education) and cultures (United States and Brazil) and are discussed in terms of their implications for theory, research, and social policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-177
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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