Position on Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a much talked about topic these days with the accusations against political figures (Senators and members of the House) and high ranking Hollywood and entertainment/news  individuals.  This paper asks you to take a position on whether or not the accusations and disciplinary actions are just or are they over stepping the boundaries of fairness.  The law is quite clear that any unwanted activity of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s employment is illegal.  The law also specifies that it is unwanted or uncomfortable from the victim’s perspective.  A lot of the debate these days involves groping and when does a hand around the waist or a pat on the rump become groping.  Another key issue is when sexual involvement is consensual as many of the cases in the news claim. Many women have been reluctant to report sexual harassment because of the power of the individual making the advancements.  Up and coming movie stars or Congressional aides have been silent for a long time because of repercussions to their careers.  Now women are speaking up.  Some of the incidents happened years ago and may be hard to prove but they are having an impact.  An outcome maybe that women will feel more empowered and secure to voice complaints. There are two types of sexual harassment:  quid pro quo and hostile work environment.  This position paper deals primarily with the first type which involves a situation where a manager implies that some type of sexual behavior is expected as a condition of employment.  Employment can mean a promotion or good assignment and does not just mean keeping your job. You are expected to do research for this paper.  I would start with reading about the law and the Supreme Court cases that have interpreted the EEOC guidelines.  Title IX also pertains to sexual harassment.  Once you have formulated and stated your position you need to support it with specific examples that have been in the news, again supported by research.  You may want to include in your opinion how the law should be clarified or amended.  I would avoid extreme position either for or against because your position can appear over simplified.  You may feel that sexual harassment is wrong no matter what but you need to recognize that not all victims are telling the truth.  On the other hand if you think the current accusations are way over blown, you need to consider how to protect women in the workforce from unwanted sexual advancements.The Position Paper will be graded on the quality of the research, the student’s understanding of the topic and the degree to which the student supported their opinion with facts and logical justification.  Position papers should be 3 to 4 pages in length.  Be sure to include a list of references in APA format and use in-text references throughout your paper.

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