Mental Health

Report: Men, Women Experience More Sexual Harassment In California

There are actually more men and women suffering from sexual harassment in California than the total number of reports nationwide. A new report shows that such cases are 5 percent higher for women and 10 percent higher for men than the national average.

The paper came from the joint effort of the Center for Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the nonprofit organization California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA).

Researchers said that the most common victims of sexual harassment in the state were residents who identify themselves as gay or lesbian as well as male Californians who were born outside of the U.S.

"California has led the nation's focus on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement,” Anita Raj, director of GEH and professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a statement. “This report offers a stark look at the widespread prevalence of verbal, physical and cyber-based sexual harassment in the Golden State."

The new report is considered the first statewide analysis that explored the prevalence and scope of sexual harassment and assault in California. 

Sexual Harassment in California: The Numbers

Overall, more than 86 percent of women and 53 percent of men in California are victims of sexually motivated harassment and assault. These figures appear higher than the national average of 81 percent for women and 43 percent for men. 

Four out of five lesbian and bisexual women, three out of four gay and bisexual men and three out of four foreign-born men have faced aggressive sexual harassment or assault, such as stalking and unwanted sexual touching, in their lifetime. 

"This report demonstrates that sexual harassment is prevalent and ubiquitous, but at the same time, we also see higher rates on some of our most marginalized residents, such as gay, lesbian and bisexual people and foreign-born men," Raj said. 

The researchers then called for improved education about sexual consent to help address the issue not just in California but across the U.S. 

"We know that prevention works, and it's necessary to shift to a culture where individuals look out for one another," David S. Lee, director of prevention at CALCASA, said.

Man The cases of sexual harassment appears common not just in women but also in men in the U.S. Pixabay