Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Christine E. Rittenour

Committee Member

Scott A. Myers

Committee Member

Elizabeth L. Cohen


The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how women interpret and respond to incidents of sexual harassment at work, in the context of both their romantic relationships and workplace cultures. Incorporating Ambivalent Sexism Theory (Fiske & Glick, 1995) to measure sexist attitudes, I presumed that their own, their partners’ and their presumed workplace’s sexism scores for both subsets would be linked to the women’s perceptions and behavioral intentions in response to being sexually harassed at work. Participants were 145 heterosexual adult women, employed full-time and in self-defined committed heterosexual relationships. Each completed a survey that included the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) (Fiske & Glick, 1995), the Sexual Harassment Reporting Attitudes Scale (SHRAS) (Cesario, Parks-Stamm, & Turgut, 2018), likelihood of reporting scenarios of sexual harassment (SH), and number of special peers in the workplace. There was additional demographic data about the participants and their workplaces, most of which was incorporated as covariates. Results supported several of the asserted relationships. Although the predicted relationships between participants’ and their perceived partners’ and workplace sexist attitudes with reporting SH did not emerge, there were many significant findings regarding these variables and their associations with intolerance for SH. The majority of this study’s findings emerged as significant, even when testing alongside covariates of education, organization size, organization type, and number of special peers in the workplace with the exception of perceived partner HS and intolerance for SH that were non-significant. Future research should explore disclosures exchanged regarding such incidents at work in the context of both romantic relationships and other social relationships in and out of work.

Included in

Communication Commons