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Abstract

Ninety-seven members of the Kentucky chapter of National Association of Social Workers were surveyed about their knowledge of and experience with sexual harassment in their work places. Fifty-one percent knew of sexual harassment of female social workers and 18% knew of similar harassment of male workers. Twenty-six percent had themselves been victims of sexual harassment. Verbal harassment was the most common followed by a combination of verbal and physical harassment in the form of sexy jokes and unwanted touching. A majority of the victims resorted to either avoidance, defusion, or reason in dealing with their harassers. Young workers from small agencies with few years of employment viewed the problem of sexual harassment as serious. A majority of respondents, irrespective of their gender and education, were ignorant of the provisions of the Civil Rights law pertaining to sexual harassment. Implications of the findings for social work are discussed.

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