December 4, 2017
Why Many Sexually Harassed Women Remain Silent - An experiment found a big difference between theoretical reactions and real ones: fear
By Marianne LaFrance
Dec. 1, 2017 2:24 p.m. ET
Today’s allegations of sexual harassment show little sign of abating. Each day brings news of one more male media star or mogul, politician or professor, comedian or coach who has been accused of sexually, and often serially, harassing women or girls.
Since a good deal of time has often transpired between the alleged sexual misconduct and a woman’s coming forward, a question frequently voiced in these cases is: “What took her so long?” Courts have denied the legitimacy of some claims of sexual harassment when too much time is thought to have passed between the alleged wrong and the filing of a case. The assumption is that a reasonable person with a credible charge would have acted sooner.
As a social psychologist, I know something about why there is a gap between how “reasonable” people believe they would respond to inappropriate sexual behavior and what people in the actual situation do. It stems from our very imperfect ability to appraise other people’s circumstances…. Read More