SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Fifty percent of women supervisors, but one-third of women who do not supervise others, reported workplace sexual harassment, U.S. researchers said.
"This study provides the strongest evidence to date supporting the theory that sexual harassment is less about sexual desire than about control and domination," study primary investigator Heather McLaughlin of the University of Minnesota said in a statement. "Male co-workers, clients and supervisors seem to be using harassment as an equalizer against women in power."
McLaughlin and her co-authors examined data from the 2003-2004 Youth Development Study, a study of adolescents that began in 1988 with a sample of 1,010 ninth graders in the St. Paul, which continues today.
More feminine men were at a greater risk of experiencing more severe or multiple forms of sexual harassment -- as were female supervisors.
The most common scenario reported by survey respondents involved male harassers and female targets, while males harassing other males was the second most frequent situation, the study said.
The findings were presented at the American Sociological Association meeting in San Francisco.