Can I be sexually harassed by a member of my same gender?

Posted in Sexual Harassment on September 3, 2015

In short, the answer to that question is, yes. It Is certainly possible to be sexually harassed by a woman even if you are also a woman, or a man even if you are also a man. While we typically hear about sexual harassment involving members of the opposite sex (most commonly, men harassing women), same-sex sexual harassment does happen quite often, and — like all forms of sexual harassment — it is illegal.

Oftentimes, same-sex sexual harassment does not involve LGBT individuals. Instead, it may involve heterosexual people who take jokes, pranks, hazing or teasing too far. This is especially common in high school and college. Here is a non-exhaustive list of treatment that can constitute sexual harassment, which you will see can also apply to same-sex situations:

  • Leering looks
  • Offensive gestures
  • Jokes
  • Innuendos
  • Cat calls
  • Sexually-suggestive posters, drawings, pictures, emails or invitations
  • Stalking
  • Unsolicited touching or grabbing
  • Derogatory comments or remarks
  • Sexual assault or abuse

Many of us have experienced an example or two from the above list at some point in our lives. However, when the treatment creates a hostile environment at school or work and officials do put an immediate stop to it, it may be possible to file a sexual harassment claim.

Sexual harassment — whether it involves members of the same sex or members of the opposite sex — can take an immense toll on the victim. Any student or worker who is facing sexual harassment should speak with an attorney right away to discuss their rights and options. Sexual harassment is against the law, and you do not have to stand for it.