Sex-based Harassment

Sex-based Harassment

Sex-based Harassment:

 One form of prohibited harassment is Sex-based Harassment. If you believe you have been subjected to or witnessed Sex-based Harassment, please report the conduct under the Central College's Sexual and Relationship Misconduct PolicyTo help you determine if you have been subjected to Sex-based Harassment we are incorporating below the definition of Sex-based Harassment included in the Sexual and Relationship Misconduct Policy.

The Sexual and Relationship Misconduct Policy defines Sex-based Harassment as:

1. Sex-Based Harassment includes sexual harassment and gender-based harassment.

a. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; or other verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature, includingnon-consensual sex acts, non-consensual sexual touching,andsexual exploitation. In addition, depending on the facts, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking may also be forms of sexual harassment.  

b. Gender-based harassment isunwelcome conductof a nonsexual nature based on an individual’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes.

c. Conduct is considered unwelcome if the victim did not request or invite it and considered the conduct to be undesirable or offensive. Unwelcome conduct can involve persons of the same or opposite sex.

d. Harassing conduct is verbal, written, or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Examples of harassing conduct may include various types of unwelcome behavior, such as unwelcome: touching, sexually explicit offensive jokes, sexually degrading graphic, verbal or written comments or questions of a sexual nature; sexual innuendo, sexual threats, obscene gestures; inappropriate humor and jokes about gender specific traits or sexual orientation; sexual propositions; sexually suggestive or insulting sounds and actions, including, whistling, leering, and obscene gestures.

e. A Hostile Environment exists when Sex-Based Harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive/persistent and patently offensive so that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim's) and an objective (reasonable person's) viewpoint. The determination of whether an environment is "hostile" must be based on all of the circumstances.   These circumstances could include

(1)         the frequency of the conduct;

(2)         the nature and severity of the conduct;

(3)         the identity and relationships of persons involved;

(4)         the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred;

(5)         whether the conduct was physically threatening;

(6)         whether the conduct was humiliating;

(7)         the effect of the conduct on the alleged victim's mental or emotional state;

(8)         whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;

(9)         whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;

(10)     whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim's educational or work performance; 

(11)     whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness:

(12)     whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.

Sex or gender-based actions which are offensive or inappropriate, but do not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment, can still be reported and, where appropriate, Central College will take remedial steps intended to end or prevent such actions in the future.

f. Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are:

(1) unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and

(2)  submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.