Population Health

February 17, 2021

Study finds sexual harassment claims seen as more credible if made by ‘prototypical’ women

Image of two individuals sitting in a restaurantA new UW-led study finds that women who are viewed as “conventionally attractive” and act feminine are viewed as more credible when making accusations of sexual harassment than those who do not fit the prototype.

The study was inspired by the #MeToo movement, prompting the researchers to investigate the notion of credibility and its implications for sexual harassment victims.

Using written scenarios and digitally manipulated headshots, the researchers created experiments that uncovered participants’ conceptions and biases concerning sexual harassment accusations.

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