Any sort of coercion, bullying, intimidation of a sexual nature, or any inappropriate or unwelcome behavior with sexual overtones, are all behaviors that describe sexual harassment and each can have negative consequences for the victim.
Here is how sexual harassment negatively impacts female wellbeing.
Impact on professional or academic life
Increased absenteeism, lowered performance and productivity at work or at school are common fallouts.
Lower academic performance, decreased income and even job loss may be some of the palpable results of sexual harassment.
A woman may experience loss of trust in people and places that she is required to interact with and she could experience extreme stress that could require relocation to a different place resulting in even more losses in terms of work and academics.
Sexual harassment could negatively impact a woman’s relationships both personal as well as professional. The harassment could result in being ostracized from work groups and it could mean undue stress on personal relationships. The impact that the harassment could have on self esteem could exacerbate the situation.
Actual health problems that could result from sexual harassment
Fox News recently ran an article about how a woman’s physical health is affected by sexual harassment and not just mental wellbeing that is impacted. Sexual harassment and a hostile work environment can result in a number of problems such as –
- Long term depression could be the fallout of sexual harassment. If a woman experienced harassment during her 20’s she could be more prone to depression during her 30’s, it is thought. A sense of guilt and responsibility can compound the problem.
- A link is thought to exist between PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and harassment. Women may start to avoid the place and people that remind her of her unfortunate experiences.
- Sexual harassment could increase blood pressure since the experiment could trigger the same reactions as stress. The risk of cardiovascular disease is also thought to increase with stress.
- Sleep disturbances may be yet another fallout of sexual harassment. Quite simply a woman may lie awake thinking and mulling over the unwelcome experience she had
- Women who experience such harassment are more likely to display suicidal behavior
Actual physical aches and pains may also occur as a direct consequence of the harassment. Neck pain, bone and muscle related problems are seen more frequently in women who have experienced harassment of this sort.