They may stake out (or defend) their territory by telling sexually explicit jokes or by putting up pornographic materials (hostile working environment). Tokens may be tolerated, but when real change appears to be occurring, resistance may emerge. One hypothesis in the social sciences is that as contact increases between groups, understanding may increase. Harlan and Weiss as cited in Gardner, Peluchette, and Clinebell (1994, p. 147) examined two companies and identified an initial decline in male resistance to female managers as their numbers increased, but after the number of female managers increased beyond 15%, male managers engaged in sexist behavior that the researchers attribute to frustration and fear.

Marking behavior is collective and public. “Often, the harasser needs allies, or accomplices, others to ‘go along with the joke’ or to ‘egg him on’” (Kirby, 1994, p. 224). Tailhook involved Air Force pilots who accosted women (other officers and civilians) when they entered the hallways where they were engaging in group solidarity activities (drinking and degrading women).