This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Hostile Environment Sexual Harrassment and Attitudes of Offensiveness Toward Workplace Behaviors as Measured by the Hostile Environment Sexual Harrassment Evaluation Inventory




Ryan, Brenda Phillips

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between perceptions of offensiveness and sexually oriented behaviors and the influence of six demographic, organizational and personal variables upon this relationship. Data for this study were gathered from a 93-item inventory, the Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment Evaluation (HE/SHE). The HE/SHE is designed to assess perceptions of offensiveness and non-offensiveness toward various physical, verbal, and visual behaviors and pictorial materials which may be found in the workplace. The instrument was completed correctly by 182 employed persons. This final sample consisted of 86 male and 96 female managers and subordinates selected from a sample of employed persons of a southeastern town. Results indicate that the variability in perceptions of offensiveness toward sexual behaviors can be attributable to gender and job role. Marginal variability is attributable to religious beliefs. None of the variability in perceptions of offensiveness was attributable to job status, past experiences of sexual harassment, or education. Results indicate that gender is the most significant (p<.001) predictor of offensiveness, and that females are significantly more offended by sexual behaviors than males.