Sexual misconduct reports may be ‘tip of the iceberg’

November 20, 2017

Sexual harassment has impacted 50% of all adult women, according to the latest Economist/YouGov national opinion poll— released on November 17, even as more allegations surfaced in Washington, DC.

But slightly more than half of that number—as many as 26% of women who have been harassed or attacked— have not reported it. This suggests that the recent outpouring of allegations of sexual misconduct “may only be the tip of a far larger iceberg,” the researchers said.

What’s more, the poll finds, every generation of women passes through a time of harassment: Well over half of women under the age of 45 who report harassment say it happened in the last five years. For women 45 and older, the experience took place longer ago.

Two-thirds of women who report harassment say they have been harassed in the workplace. That’s especially true for those over the age of 30, who have been in the workplace a significant amount of time.. Three in four women with college degrees say they have been sexually harassed at work.

College graduates are more likely than those without college degrees to report discrimination. Still, only 33% of college educated women say they have reported discrimination or unfair treatment.

Men and women are concerned both about sexual assaults going unreported or unpunished and about false allegations of sexual assault. Indeed, a total of 34% of women are upset that sexual mistreatment goes unreported or unpunished; while only 25% of men report feeling the same way.

Meanwhile a full 25% of men fear false accusations of sexual assault; just 11% of women see that as a concern.

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