Weekly Video Highlight

Sexual Harassment: Offender Stereotypes

Offender Stereotypes

Sexual harassment is against the law and occurs when there are “…unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”

“Offender Stereotypes” is the sixth video lesson in our Stop Sexual Harassment Now: Employee Version video series, and it provides more descriptive terms for different types of offenders so that everyone is on the same page.

How to Identify Offender Stereotypes

Targets of sexual harassment often need a better way to describe offenders than “so-and-so is bothering me,” in order to fully communicate the issue.

Offenders are either clueless or don’t get it. Or they’re pathological, and are out to hurt people. So the naming is intentionally meant to show them for what they are—offenders.

The four types of overt offenders are obvious in what they’re after:

  • Neanderthal – has no hope of successfully harassing targets, but does it anyway.
  • God’s Gift – people who are convinced of their own irresistibility.
  • The Playboy – always looking for action.
  • The Gunfighter – everything is a contest and they are out to hurt people.

The four different covert offenders are less obvious, but equally offensive harassers:

  • Rising Star – actively seeking an affair.
  • False Mentor – appearing to take a professional interest in a target’s career.
  • Mid-Life Lothario – older people that want one last chance at it.
  • Dirty Old Man – not really looking for a relationship, just enjoys the action and usually gets a free pass, due to their age.

Other offenders who use harassment as a tool include:

  • The Tease – putting out an ambiguous message.
  • The Trader – sexual favors for personal gain.
  • False Victim – don’t take them lightly.

Looking for sexual harassment training for your organization? Click here.

Research has shown that most sexual harassment goes unreported, but the message should be that it is an act of courage to speak up. These stereotypes help complete the description process so that harassment can be properly identified.

Training & Development Industry Researcher | Krista researches, analyzes, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. She looks at the industry shifts and trends that matter to L&D and HR professionals, and helps them understand how to create better training programs that grow their employees and their business.