Twenty years after Anita Hill testified against Clarence Thomas on his nomination to the Supreme Court seared the issue of sexual harassment into the national conscious­ness, allegations of sexual misconduct by one-time 2012 GOP presidential candidate

Herman Cain has drawn fresh attention to this issue (Haq, 2011; Stout, 2011). Both the Hill/Thomas case and the more recent Herman Cain situation illustrate that sexual harassment related to the work environment can take many forms. It can start with such things as remarks of a sexual nature; sexist comments; unwelcome atten­tion; violations of personal space; repeated unwelcome requests for a date; inappro­priate, derogatory put-downs; leering and/or whistling; offensive and crude language; and displaying sexually oriented objects, materials, or pictures that create a hostile or offensive environment. In the expanding electronic environment of contemporary America, sexual harassment often involves e-mails, text messages, Facebook posts, and tweets (Greenwald, 2011). Some of these behaviors occupy a gray area because not all people would view them as genuine sexual harassment. However, they clearly become sexual harassment if they persist after the target of such acts has asked the offending person to stop.

At an intermediate level of severity, sexual harassment in the workplace can include inappropriate, graphic comments about a person’s body or sexual competence, sexual propositions not directly linked to employment, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, and unwanted physical contact of a nonsexual nature. In its most severe manifestations, sex­ual harassment on the job can involve a boss or supervisor requiring sexual ser­vices from an employee as a condition for keeping a job or getting a promotion, unwanted physical contact or conduct of a sexual nature, and, less commonly, sexual assault.