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Black Women Are More Likely Than White Women to Report Sexual Harassment

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“It seems as though men have gotten more careful about who they’re harassing, and have been targeting women of color,” researchers said in announcing their findings.

Formal complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace have declined over the past 20 years. But according to new research, this good news comes with an asterisk.

A new study reports that a racial gap has opened up over the years, to the point where black women are much more likely than their white counterparts to report being sexually harassed.

The study’s co-authors, Dan Cassino of Fairleigh Dickinson University and Yasemin Besen-Cassino of Montclair State University, say this finding reflects the fact that black women are perceived as having relatively little power in workplaces, and are therefore viewed as being less likely to file a complaint.

“It seems as though men have gotten more careful about who they’re harassing, and have been targeting women of color,” Cassino said in announcing the findings, which also reveal that reports of harassment tend to increase in periods when the unemployment rate is rising.



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