Survey shows 1 in 3 men don’t think catcalling is sexual harassment


In the weeks since allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced, reports of abuse across multiple industries have skyrocketed.

» RELATED: Harvey Weinstein scandal: ‘No way all these people could have been victims and men didn’t know...’

In fact, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, survivors have been reaching out to RAINN’s sexual assault hotline in record numbers since the Weinstein allegations and the powerful #MeToo social media campaign that followed.

In October alone, the organization assisted a record 19,432 people.

» RELATED: Will #MeToo campaign keep building and lead to lasting change?

While victims, mostly women, have been empowered to speak up and share their stories, many have wondered about men’s education on sexual harassment.

» RELATED: What Hollywood’s men are saying about Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment allegations

Data marketer Brionna Lewis with auto company Instamotor set out to find some answers.

In a survey of 750 adult men in the United States, conducted between Oct. 20-21 via the survey platform Pollfish, men answered questions about their experience and thoughts on sexual harassment and assault.

» RELATED: #MeToo: Women share harrowing accounts of sexual assault, harassment

Many men aren’t really clear on what constitutes sexual harassment.

According to the survey, 1 in 3 respondents said they don’t think catcalling is sexual harassment.

And 2 in 3 respondents said they don’t think repeated unwanted invitations to dinner, drinks or dates is sexual harassment. 

» RELATED: Sexual harassment in the workplace: What is it, how to report it and more you should know

But men are definitely witnessing sexual harassment.

According to the survey, 45 percent of the men said they’ve witnessed someone being sexually harassed, with 50 percent of respondents reporting such incidents occurred at work or at a party/bar/nightclub.

Other areas where respondents said they witnessed someone being sexually harassed:

  • Street (47 percent)
  • School (43 percent)
  • Public transportation (32 percent)

» RELATED: Jesse Jackson accused of sexual harassment by The Root journalist

Some are speaking up for others.

One-third of respondents said they have directly confronted offenders when they witnessed sexual harassment or assault and nearly a quarter said they intervened by interrupting the act, distracting from the act or in another way.

Still, 18 percent of the men said they either said or did nothing when witnessing sexual harassment or assault.

And more than a quarter of respondents said they regretted their decision to not do more to help when witnessing an incident.

» RELATED: Timeline of Weinstein allegations dating back decades

Many of the men are also victims.

According to the survey, more than one quarter of the men said they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted themselves.

But some men think sexual harassment isn’t a huge deal.

Nearly 1 in 5 respondents said they don’t think sexual harassment is a fireable offense.

Additionally, a quarter of the survey respondents said they believed the increased conversation around sexual harassment was unjustified.

» RELATED: Putin crony sides with Harvey Weinstein, says America is too uptight

Possible limitations of the survey

According to the Washington Post, the poll used a non-probability sampling technique instead of random sampling, and it’s not clear whether the findings are representative of American men overall.

More about Instamotor’s study at Instamotor.com.


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