Annual Report FY 2004 - Research at Cornell

02. Drinking and Gender Harassment

Samuel Bacharach, Industrial and Labor Relations, led as director of the R. Brinkley Smithers Institute for Alcohol-Related Workplace Studies research that found a link between the drinking behavior of men in and around the workplace and gender harassment of female coworkers. Gender harassment refers to a form of sexual harassment involving offensive or degrading remarks and actions usually directed at women by men. The researchers found that when alcohol consumption in and around the workplace increases, so does the risk of this type of harassment. This behavior creates a hostile workplace for women, and it is unlawful. The study has implications for sexual harassment prevention policies in the workplace, suggesting that a change in the perception of the acceptability of drinking during or around working hours may be effective at deterring harassment in work settings that are characterized by a strong drinking culture.

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