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

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. 
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 3: An evolutionary perspective on sexual harassment

James K. Beggan


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.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.