Sexual Harassment, the Abuse of Power and the Crisis of Leadership
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Sexual Harassment, the Abuse of Power and the Crisis of Leadership

"Superstar" Harassers and how to Stop Them

James K. Beggan

Within these pages James K. Beggan puts forward a novel approach to understanding sexual harassment by high value superstars in the workplace. The approach integrates ideas derived from evolutionary theory, utility theory, sexual scripting theory and research on the regulation of emotion. Besides providing a better understanding of the phenomenon, the book aims to contribute to the development of better techniques to prevent sexual harassment. 
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Chapter 3: An evolutionary perspective on sexual harassment

James K. Beggan

Abstract

Sexual strategies theory notes that biological differences between the way in which men and women reproduce have evolved differences in preferred mating strategies. The problem with these strategies is that they may no longer be appropriate to use in the modern business world, despite their adaptive value in ancient times. In other words, there is a mismatch between the environment of evolutionary adaptedness and the modern world. According to error management theory, men are more concerned about missing a sexual opportunity than they are about being rejected in response to an approach. They may also be rewarded for taking risks. These preferences may lead men to approach women who do not really want to be approached and engage in behaviors that reference their power, status, or wealth and can readily be termed sexual harassment. Testosterone may play a role in facilitating sexual harassment by contributing to a self-reinforcing status-sexual desire positive feedback loop.

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