Men stay silent on sexual harassment

Majority of Chinese workers said they would not report incidents

Male victims of sexual harassment in China's workplaces are suffering in silence, according to a new study.

The survey, conducted by the Civic Party, included interviews with 423 workers, of which 96 said they had experienced sexual harassment at work (33 men and 63 women). Only two of the men had reported the harassment to their superiors, compared with 12 women (six per cent versus 19 per cent).

Of the 327 who said they had not experienced sexual harassment, 76 said they would keep quiet even if they were harassed.

Of these, 26 men said they preferred to keep silent rather than be ridiculed, compared to six women.

China's Equal Opportunities Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that would offend or humiliate victims through improper physical contact, verbal or written statements of a sexual nature and other oral remarks. Also included are wall decorations such as calendars or works of art that feature naked bodies or other objects that could cause embarrassment to co-workers.

The survey found 45 per cent, or 192, of the 423 full-time workers interviewed said sexual harassment in the workplace happened "all the time" or "occasionally." More than half (56 per cent) of the harassment came from co-workers, with clients and bosses making up the rest.

The most common sexual harassment acts mentioned were taking inappropriate photos, improper physical conduct and verbal remarks of a sexual nature.

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