Full Program »
Power, Gender, and Identification With Sexual Harassment Victims
Examining sexual harassment cases involving woman victim and man aggressor, we suggest that women in high (vs. low) power show greater identification with the victim; men in high and low power did not differ in their identification with the victim. These effects, we argue, are due to gender differences in the manifestation of power, related to gender differences in self-construal: men possess more independent selves; women possess more interdependent selves. Accordingly, procedures of self-construal priming would modify this pattern. We present two experimental studies supporting our conceptualization. In both studies participants imagined themselves to be either CEOs or employees (high vs. low power). They read a scenario describing sexual harassment in their organization and reported their level of identification. The second study also included a self-construal priming, which have shown to enhanced identification among high-power men and low-power women. Implications, limitations and future directions are discussed.