Sexual harassment is vile. Ask any professional with experience in the matter, like Los Angeles sex crimes attorney Stein & Markus, and they’ll tell you just how serious allegations of harassment can be. Interestingly, though, they’d also be likely to tell you about the shared characteristics many true harassers possess. Specifically, says Scientific American, there are four traits that many sexual harassers have in common, and we’ll be going over them today.
Trait One: The Dark Triad
The dark triad, as the name suggests, is actually three personality traits all rolled up into one: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.
Now, those first two you’ve probably heard of before. Narcissism is that puffed up sense of self the most arrogant among us display proudly, and psychopathy is that lack of impulse control that keeps normal people from crossing boundaries.
Just these two traits together give sexual harassers the gall to carry out their acts while simultaneously justifying their actions. With the final piece of this puzzle, Machiavellianism, they also have the drive to pursue such activities as a long-term goal, plotting and manipulating to achieve whatever results they desire.
Trait Two: Moral Disengagement
Individuals exhibiting moral disengagement, simply put, start to become increasingly comfortable committing acts that the rest of us would find reprehensible.
They do so by slowly justifying their actions, warping perception by creating excuses for themselves, trying to disguise the nature of their actions with euphemistic phrasing, and attempting to shift responsibility for their bad behaviors onto those around them.
As if that wasn’t enough, those displaying moral disengagement will also try to dehumanize the victims of their actions, making it seem as if the victims deserved to be preyed upon, and might even downplay the severity of harassing behavior as well.
Trait Three: Employment In A Male Dominated Field
Sexual harassers, generally speaking, are men. Experts like San Francisco workplace harassment lawyer Pasternak & Stein also note that in male dominated fields, it seems that harassment is more likely than in fields where there is a greater degree of gender equality. Men who work in such fields, therefore, are more likely to be harassers.
Trait Four: Hostile Attitudes Toward Women
This one almost seems obvious, but let’s break it down anyway. Men who commit sexual harassment are more likely to have less charitable outlooks about women and relationships, viewing woman as “easily offended,” and perhaps even expendable in some situations, also making them more susceptible to committing sex assault and other crimes against women. This lack of empathy, bordering on hostility, is what makes it easier for harassers to continuously justify their behavior.