Emotional & Professional Effects of Sexual Harassment

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Legal Consequences of Sexual Harassment

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Sexual Harassment…
  • 0:26 Target of Harassment
  • 1:09 Observers
  • 1:55 Employer
  • 2:50 Harasser
  • 4:02 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Workplace sexual harassment can have many emotional & professional consequences. In this lesson, you'll learn about the effects of sexual harassment for the victims, the organization and for the perpetrator of the sexual harassment. A short quiz follows.

Sexual Harassment Hurts Everyone

Workplace sexual harassment has negative emotional and professional consequences for the victim or target of sexual harassment, observers of the harassment and the perpetrators of it. Sexual harassment is also toxic for organizations infected by it. Let's take a quick look at how workplace sexual harassment affects each of these groups.

Target of Harassment

Meet Michael; he's a computer programmer for a software company. He is also a target of sexual harassment. He is a homosexual male who is constantly being propositioned by Candice, his supervisor, who tells him that she can get him straight. Michael has repeatedly told Candice that he's not interested and feels uncomfortable. Candice doesn't stop. As a result of sexual harassment, Michael is under a great deal of stress at work. His morale and job satisfaction is low, and he is worried about his job. His productivity is suffering as a result, and he is thinking about quitting.


Trish works in the cubicle next to Michael and is a co-worker on his team. Trish has repeatedly heard the harassment and even witnessed Candice inappropriately touching Michael. Witnessing the harassment is a distraction for Trish and other coworkers who observe it. It cuts down on their productivity. It also creates a hostile workplace environment of fear as Trish sees an employee being abused, and worse, her employer doesn't appear to be doing anything about it. This has reduced Trish's morale, job satisfaction and her loyalty to her employer. She really doesn't want to work for an employer who allows this type of harassment to continue.


Michael's employer is negatively affected by Candice's harassment as well. Candice's harassment has caused a sharp decline in Michael and Trish's productivity. As Michael's other teammates learn of the harassment through the grapevine, the team's morale, job satisfaction and even productivity decline due to the toxic atmosphere. If Michael quits, the company will lose a valuable employee, and his departure will cost the company time and money, not only in loss of productivity but also in finding and training a replacement.

Just as importantly, Candice's sexual harassment has exposed the company to legal liability if Michael should file a charge with the EEOC, which is the federal regulator responsible for investigating charges of workplace harassment and enforcing sexual harassment law. Of course, the company may also be exposed to a possible lawsuit.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account