Individual Experiences, Demographics and Organizational Contexts: Sexual Harassment in the Military

Richard Harris, University of Texas at San Antonio

Data constraints have limited the capacity to link individual contexts with organizational environments. This research utilizes a unique dataset that allows independent assessment of organizational climates and the experiences of individuals within those organizations. The Defense Equality Opportunity Climate Survey (DEOCS) included a special module to examine issues related to sexual harassment and sexual assault in 2011; 21,304 active duty members completed the standard DEOCS, and 6,585 voluntarily participated in the special SHSA module. In effect, this provides two independent samples. Multi-level analyses are employed, measuring individual experiences in relation to organizational unit level indicators. Results indicate that sexist environmental context at the organizational level (military unity) has an independent influence controlling for individual level variables. Perhaps equally important, variables like organizational climate, work group cohesion and job satisfaction do not have significant influences in predicting individual statements about experiences of sexual harassment in the last 12 months.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity