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 9: Sexual harassment training through shaming

James K. Beggan

Abstract

This chapter considers the role of emotions in understanding and preventing sexual harassment. Men tend to regret failing to act on a sexual opportunity more than the regret the transient embarrassment associated with being rejected for acting on what is actually an unwanted approach. Despite their widespread use, existing training programs to prevent sexual harassment are generally not effective. One reason is that they tend to motivate compliance by the fear of lawsuits or termination, which may be ineffective if potential harassers view defiance of the threat as a way to demonstrate courage. Rather than focusing on fear, training methods that focus on shame could be more effective; however, it is important to consider the nature of the induced shame. Social movements such as the #MeToo hashtag might be counterproductive to the degree that their efforts to induce shame lead harassers to withdraw or to attack their attackers.

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