Latin men fear that the woman leaving the home to work will meet another man, says study.
Sexual harassment and machismo (sexism) continues in all the Central American countries and the Caribbean, according to a studby the Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), the Latin American and Caribbean division of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
The report “Acoso sexual en el trabajo y masculinidad en Centroamérica y República Dominicana” (Sexual harassment at work and masculinity in Central America and the Dominican Republic) says that men in Latin America are allowing their wives to work only for the financial need, but with this “sacrifice” they expose their fear that another man will “steal” their women.
The report was elaborated by the OIT office in San José.
ILO researcher, José Manuel Salas, said that the study took in responses from 428 men of the “general” population, with heterogeneous sociodemographic characteristics (including age, origin, education level, occupation, sexual orientation, marital status) to determine the elements of masculinity that may contribute to sexual harassment at work.
Salas explained that the study tried to analyze how men think, their dominant ideas and their thoughts on sexual harassment in the workplace and though results varied, the study found that men’s masculinity is questioned.
The study reveals that although the men do not agree with what is going on (the harassment) in the workplace, machismo has not dropped, that it is strong and dominant.
Salas indicates that men do not like the integration of women into the workplace and though accept that it is a right and there is a financial need as one salary is not enough, their acceptance is not full, because there is the fear that the woman leaving the home to work will meet another man.
Meanwhile, the researched stressed that men are also sexually harassed at work, but do not report it.
“For a man being harassed by a woman it is a like a compliment, he considers himself handsome and that raises his ego, but if harassed by another man, his homophobic fear kicks in”, explains Salas.
In Costa Rica, the vice-ministro de Trabajo, Eugenio Solano, confirmed that last year there were 16 cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, mainly in the commercial and services sectors.
“The actual number of cases is not large, however, has been increasing as the harassed worker dares to file charges, especially in the public sector where there is job security, unlike in the private sector, where most cases of harassment occur at the management level and as the harassed worker filing a complaint faces dismissal by her harasser manager”, explained Solano.
“Most victims of sexual harassment in the private sector have no choice but to endure it”, added the vice-ministro.
Victims of sexual harassment by their boss become bullied into quitting, for the boss who sought and was denied a sexual relationship, may make the life of the employee impossible which sooner or later ends in the employee quitting her job. And there are false accusations, a person denied a promotion or raise, for example, or the affair ended badly, a person will file sexual harassment charges for spite.
Source: Organización Internacional del Trabajo, Ministeio de Trabajo