4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2012  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/08/2014   
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Contents >> Experience of selected types of sexual harassment

EXPERIENCE OF SELECTED TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

In the 2012 PSS, men and women were asked whether they had ever experienced selected types of sexual harassment behaviours by a male or by a female. Sexual harassment was considered to have occurred when a person experienced or was subjected to any of the following behaviours which made them feel uncomfortable, or they found improper or offensive due to their sexual nature: indecent phone calls; indecent text, email or post; indecent exposure; inappropriate comments; and unwanted sexual touching. Refer to the Glossary for definitions of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours. Due to changes to the definition of sexual harassment for the 2012 PSS and the inclusion of an additional type of sexual harassment behaviour, this information is not comparable with the data collected in the 2005 PSS about sexual harassment (refer Endnote 1).


LIFETIME EXPERIENCE OF SELECTED TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Women aged 18 years and over were more likely than men to have experienced one or more of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours during their lifetime. An estimated 48% of women (4,221,100) and 18% of men (1,518,300) aged 18 years and over had experienced one or more of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours during their lifetime (refer Table 35).

Sex of perpetrator

Women aged 18 years and over were more likely to have experienced one or more of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours by a male perpetrator than by a female perpetrator. Of all women who had experienced one or more of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours (4,221,100), 98% had experienced these behaviours by a male perpetrator (4,156,300) and 17% had experienced these behaviours by a female perpetrator (730,300).

For men aged 18 years and over who had experienced one or more of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours, there was no statistically significant difference found as to whether they were more likely to experience this by a male or female perpetrator. Refer to Endnote 2 for an explanation of significance testing.


EXPERIENCE OF SELECTED TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS

Women aged 18 years and over were also more likely than men to have experienced one or more of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours in the 12 months prior to survey. In the 12 months prior to the survey, an estimated 14.8% of women (1,297,000) and 6.6% of men (554,800) had experienced one or more of the selected types of sexual harassment behaviours (refer Table 35).


FURTHER INFORMATION

Only broad summary information about sexual harassment has been presented in this release. Further details about the different types of sexual harassment behaviours experienced by men and women are available in Table 36 and Table 37 in the downloads tab.


ENDNOTES

Endnote 1 Comparisons between the data collected for sexual harassment in the PSS 2005 and PSS 2012 surveys are unable to be made. The 2012 PSS only included instances where the sexual harassment behaviours experienced by the respondent were found to be improper or offensive due to their sexual nature: the 2005 PSS merely determined if respondents had ever experienced the sexual harassment behaviours (and did not ask whether the respondent found the behaviours to be improper or offensive due to their sexual nature). An additional type of sexual harassment behaviour (an indecent text, email or post) was also added to the 2012 measure of sexual harassment in order to capture emerging methods of sexual harassment. These changes were considered necessary for the 2012 PSS, but this has resulted in a significant change to the definition of sexual harassment and means that the data are no longer comparable between the two surveys.

Endnote 2 All differences and changes mentioned have been tested for statistical significance with a 95% level of confidence that there is a real difference in the two populations being tested. To determine whether there is a statistical difference between any other two estimates, significance testing should be undertaken. For further information, refer to the Technical Note.


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