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Study Says Workplace Harassment Is Tolerated Far Less Since #MeToo

Study Says Workplace Harassment Is Tolerated Far Less Since #MeToo

( – The #MeToo movement started in 2006 but didn’t gain widespread attention until 2017 when tales of Harvey Weinstein’s repulsive behavior spread. That’s when the hashtag went viral, with many people — including celebrities — coming forward with accounts of sexual harassment or assault they experienced. A recent survey shows that since the movement gained a foothold, peoples’ perspectives on the issue have changed.

The Survey

From July 5-17, Pew Research Center surveyed 6,034 American adults, asking several questions surrounding the #MeToo movement. One of the top inquiries centers on whether those polled believe companies and society are more likely to hold people accountable for their actions than they were five years ago.

The majority of those surveyed, 70%, comprised of 75% men and 65% women, said yes. Both Democrats and Republicans share that view, but clear differences exist after breaking the data down into age groups. Adults under 30 have the lowest percentage of this belief (62%), while those 65 and older have the highest (75%).

Another question asked respondents whether they felt those who report sexual harassment or assault at work are now more likely to be believed. Generally, men believe it’s more likely (66%), while women (60%) are slightly less sure. Democrats and those who lean left inch out Republicans and those who lean right 68% to 58%.

Differences Among Party Lines

Like most social movements, party lines divide this workplace harassment. Among those who identify as Republicans, 15% of men and 18% of women support the cause, while 49% of men and 34% of women oppose it. Among Democrats, 65% of men and 76% of women support the movement, while only 6% and 5% oppose it.

When it comes to false reporting — where people file claims of sexual harassment or assault that aren’t true — Republicans believe it’s more common (62%) than Democrats (40%). The gender gap here is a minimal 1 to 3 percentage points.

Underreporting, however, is a different story. Here, the gender gap is significant, with 65% of women believing it’s very common, while only 48% of men feel the same way. Gender also plays a significant role when asked whether the social movement has made it harder to know how to interact with the opposite sex. A plurality, 46%, say it’s harder for men to know how to interact with women, while only 26% believe the opposite to be true.

Has the #MeToo movement changed your views on sexual harassment or assault in the workplace?

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