Sexual harassment and coercion have mainly been considered from a sex difference perspective. While traditional social science theories have explained harassment as male dominance of females, the evolutionary perspective has suggested that sex differences in the desire for sex are a better explanation. This study attempts to address individual differences associated with harassment from an evolutionary perspective. Considering previous research that has found links between sociosexual orientation inventory (SOI) and harassment, we consider whether this association can be replicated in a large, representative sample of high school students (N=1199) from a highly egalitarian culture. Expanding the previous studies which mainly focused on male perpetrators and female victims, we also examine females and males as both perpetrators and as victims. We believe that unrestricted sociosexuality motivates people to test whether others are interested in short-term sexual relations in ways that sometimes might be defined as harassment. Furthermore, unrestricted individuals signal their sociosexual orientation, and while they do not desire all individuals that react to these signals with sexual advances, they attract much more sexual advances than individuals with restricted sociosexual orientations, especially from other unrestricted members of the opposite sex. This more or less unconscious signaling thus makes them exploitable, i.e., harassable. We find that SOI is a predictor for sexual harassment and coercion among high school students. The paper concludes that, as expected, unrestricted sociosexuality predicts being both a perpetrator and a victim of both same-sex and opposite-sex harassment.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Sexual people are more likely to be victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment
A new study from Evolution and Human Behavior reports that highly sexual people are more likely to be victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment: