The Reasonable Woman Test in Sexual Harassment Law - Will It Make A Difference?

36 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2018

Date Written: 1993


This article, published in 1993 during the height of the aftermath of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings - has been used in classrooms and cited by law scholars and workplace gender experts for years on the question of whose perspective should be adopted by the courts in sexual harassment cases. It compared how judges treated rape cases with how they treated sexual harassment cases, the latter being a fairly new kind of claim showing up in the courts at the time. The article made predictions about the extent to which the outcome of lawsuits would change from the status quo if the perspective of the target of harassment were given greater weight. It also made recommendations to companies on how to adopt policies and training programs to address the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace that incorporated the prediction's findings.

Note: Please note that readers are free to use the article for nonprofit educational purposes as long as they use the full article without editing it and give credit and attribution to the author and use the full citation thereof. All other uses need to first be approved by the author.

Keywords: sexual harassment law, the reasonable woman test

Suggested Citation

Lester, Toni, The Reasonable Woman Test in Sexual Harassment Law - Will It Make A Difference? (1993). Indiana Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 227, 1993. Available at SSRN:

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