What is Sexual Harassment?

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​​Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical contact of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is conduct that explicitly or implicitly affects a person’s employment or education or interferes with a person’s work or educational performance or creates an environment such that a reasonable person would find the conduct intimidating, hostile, or offensive. 

Sexual harassment may include incidents between any members of the District community, including faculty and other academic appointees, staff, students, student employees, coaches, interns, and non-student or non-employee participants in District programs. Sexual harassment may occur in hierarchical relationships, between peers or between individuals of the same sex.

Some examples of harassing behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Insults, name-calling, and offensive jokes;
  • Intimidating words or actions;
  • Unwelcome or inappropriate touching;
  • Sexually suggestive remarks or gestures;
  • Unsolicited pornographic materials;
  • Obscene messages (via text or computer); and
  • Pressure for sexual activity or a date.

Sexual Harassment Scenarios

While sexual harassment can take on many forms, it is important to develop a framework that allows an individual to identify unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. ​​​Below are some scenarios that should raise flags for students and employees. 

  • A professor insists that a student have sex with them in exchange for a good grade.
  • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes around on an email list they created, even when asked to stop. This behavior causes one recipient to avoid the sender on campus
  • Explicit sexual pictures are displayed in a professor's office, or on a computer monitor in a public space.
  • Two supervisors frequently 'rate' several employees' bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about their clothing and appearance.
  • A professor engages students in discussions in class about their past sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class.  The professor probes for explicit details, and demands that students answer her even though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
  • An individual spreads false stories about their sex life with their former partner to the clear discomfort of the partner, turning them into a social pariah on campus.
  • Male students take to calling a particular brunette student “Monica" because of her resemblance to Monica Lewinsky.  Soon, everyone adopts this nickname for her, and she is the target of the relentless remarks about cigars, the president, “sexual relations", and Weight Watchers.​