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Often, but not always, the perpetrator is in a position of power or authority over the victim (due to differences in age, or social, political, educational or employment relationships) or expecting to receive such power or authority in form of promotion.

Forms of harassment relationships include: With the advent of the Internet, social interactions, including sexual harassment, increasingly occur online, for example in video games.

However, the quantity of men implied in these conflicts is significant.

Sexual harassment, by definition, is unwanted and not to be tolerated.

In the context of US employment, the harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer, and harassers or victims can be of any gender.

Sexual harassment is a form of illegal employment discrimination in many countries, and is a form of abuse (sexual and psychological) and bullying.

In other situations, harassment may lead to temporary or prolonged stress or depression depending on the recipient's psychological abilities to cope and the type of harassment and the social support or lack thereof for the recipient.

Psychologists and social workers report that severe or chronic sexual harassment can have the same psychological effects as rape or sexual assault.

The United States' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment” (EEOC).One of the difficulties in understanding sexual harassment, is that it involves a range of behaviors.In most cases (although not in all cases) it is difficult for the victim to describe what they experienced.The term sexual harassment was used in 1973 in "Saturn's Rings", a report authored by Mary Rowe to the then-President and Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) about various forms of gender issues.Rowe has stated that she believes she was not the first to use the term, since sexual harassment was being discussed in women's groups in Massachusetts in the early 1970s, but that MIT may have been the first or one of the first large organizations to discuss the topic (in the MIT Academic Council), and to develop relevant policies and procedures.

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We were referring to it as 'sexual intimidation,' 'sexual coercion,' 'sexual exploitation on the job.' None of those names seemed quite right.

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