Study Finds Sexual Harassment Leads to Decline in Female Health

In a recent study, women who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace, have a greater likelihood of having health problems.

According to JAMA — the organization that conducted the study — poor health effects could include high blood pressure, poor sleep quality, anxiety and depression. The study, which involved 300 women, found a “clear correlation between the experience of sexual harassment or sexual assault for a woman and adverse effects on her life, be they physical or mental health consequences.”

Researchers have known about the correlation for years now. According to the JAMA study, women who reported that they had been sexually assaulted were nearly three times as likely to experienced depression and more than twice as likely to experience increased anxiety and poor sleep.

Women who reported sexual harassment, on the other hand, were twice as likely to have high blood pressure and had an 89 percent increase in having poor sleep versus those who hadn’t experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

Detractors who dispute the findings may point the study’s small size. Small study size notwithstanding, however, the findings help explain why women historically experience twice the amount of anxiety and depression that men do. Increased incidences of depression, anxiety and poor sleep are all damages that would be requested in a workplace sexual harassment/sexual assault type of claim.

Ron Kramer has practiced in the niche area of sexual harassment since 2004 and offers a free consultation if you have been a victim of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault in the workplace.