He Said, She Said, Let's Hear What the Data Say: Sexual Harassment in the Media, Courts, EEOC, and Social Science

37 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2013 Last revised: 3 Jun 2015

Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt University - Law School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Beverly I. Moran

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

We examine whether two national newspapers (The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal) provide a realistic representation of sexual harassment in the workplace by comparing media coverage to empirical evidence on sexual harassment drawn from three distinct sources: reports of workplace sexual harassment that emerge from employee self-reporting through a sexual harassment survey of government employees, charges of sexual harassment gathered through Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge data, and federal district court complaints recorded by the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system. Whether intentional or inadvertent, the national media influences attitudes and subsequent behavior. We find that the national media presents a highly sanitized version, but fairly accurately reflects the demographic characteristics of both accused individuals and individuals who claim sexual harassment in the workplace.

Keywords: sexual harassment, Title VII

JEL Classification: J71, K42, K31

Suggested Citation

Hersch, Joni and Moran, Beverly I., He Said, She Said, Let's Hear What the Data Say: Sexual Harassment in the Media, Courts, EEOC, and Social Science (2013). Kentucky Law Journal 101(4), 2013, 753-788; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 13-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2288068

Joni Hersch (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7717 (Phone)
615-322-6631 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/go/phdlawecon

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Beverly I. Moran

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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