The Role of Gender in Sexual Harassment Litigation

Authors’ Note

The authors would like to thank Katrice Pigott Large and Mike Parisi for providing the photographs that were the stimuli in both studies and Reen Foley and Thomas Sugalski for generating the computer images. Thanks are also due to David Fauss, S. Edward Groot, and Lee T. Griffin for presenting the audiotaped case facts in Study 1 and to David Fauss, Bernard Salzberg, Ph.D., and R.W. Payne, Jr. for presenting the case facts in Study 2. The authors would also like to thank Charles Covati, Robert Feagin, IV, Cindy Holloway, Lisa McCalpin, Sue Mennino, Tina Petry, Adina Wasserman, and Lisa Yarber for collecting the data and Lazara Varona for preparing the manuscript. The Role of Gender in Sexual Harassment Litigation

The courts and the media have focused a great deal of effort on raising awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. An indication of the prevalence of sexual harassment litigation is the amount of damages awarded to plaintiffs – in 1996, plaintiffs were awarded a record $27.8 million in sexual harassment cases.1 Headline news has focused on events ranging from President Clinton’s sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky2 to the largest settlement, $34 million, for a sexual harassment case.3 Estimates of the number of workers who are subjected to sexual harassment vary, with most studies reporting that between 40% and 50% of women and about 15% of men are sexually harassed in the workplace.4 Costs of sexual harassment are considerable; in addition to litigation related costs, companies are faced with costs related to lost productivity, claims investigation, training, increased supervision, and rising health care premiums, to mention just a few.5

Concurrent with increased focus on sexual harassment by the courts and media is social scientists’ increasing study of sexual harassment. A recent article6 stated that there were over 500 references to sexual harassment in the literature, with most publications occurring in the last five years. Social science research has tracked the reality of litigation, with the vast majority of studies focusing on male to female sexual harassment, the victimization pattern which occurs most frequently.7 Female to male sexual harassment has received little scientific scrutiny, despite indications that male sexual harassment victims experience negative consequences in much the same way as female sexual harassment victims.8

Experiences of sexual harassment vary by gender of harasser. Males who harass females tend to use physical force, while females who harass males employ coercion and persuasion most often.9 While post harassment responses of male victims has been the focus of little research, one study10 found that, at the time of the study, the level of well being for male sexual harassment victims was the same as for nonvictims. Another study found that few male victims of sexual harassment experienced long term negative effects, with the most common after effect being a tendency to avoid sexually aggressive women.11 Based on the dearth of research on male sexual harassment victimization, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions regarding the similarities and difference in males’ and females’ responses to being sexually harassed.

Just as there are few studies on male sexual harassment victims’ responses to victimization, equally sparse in the literature are studies pertaining to observers’ perceptions of female to male sexual harassment. Among the few studies which exist, however, the general conclusion is that observers perceive female to male sexual harassment less negatively than they perceive male to female sexual harassment.12 Judgments about “date rape” are parallel to those about sexual harassment, with “rape” being used less often to describe unwanted female to male sexual encounters and disapproval ratings lowest among respondents who were in an experimental condition involving a female to male encounter.13

Several studies have focused on how the gender of the observer influences perceptions of sexual harassment and rape. A recent study by the authors of the present study found differences in mock jurors’ attributions of responsibility to the parties based on the jury composition.14 Jurors in male dominated juries blamed a corporate defendant more than jurors in female dominated juries, while jurors in female dominated juries blamed the female defendant more than jurors in male dominated juries. The overall conclusion of this study was that, after deliberations, jurors in male dominated juries reflected the attitudes of men and jurors in female dominated juries reflected the attitudes of women. Other studies have found that, in general, men blame sexual harassment and rape victims more than women.15

While we acknowledge that male to female sexual harassment is the appropriate focus of most research, due to its widespread prevalence in the workplace, we also believe that other forms of sexual harassment, notably, female to male harassment, are deserving of the courts’, media’s, and social scientists’ attention. For this reason, we have conducted what we believe to be the first experimental study of sexual harassment that directly compares mock jurors’ perceptions of male to female and female to male sexual harassment. The remainder of this article will focus on our research and its findings.

The Present Study

The present study involved a direct comparison of mock jurors’ perceptions of a woman who accused her male supervisor of sexual harassment versus a man who accused his female supervisor of sexual harassment. Detailed results of both previous studies, the first, involving the female plaintiff and male defendant and the second, involving the male plaintiff and the female defendant, have been reported previously,16 thus, this article will address only the similarities and differences in the overall results of the two studies.

Our study was experimental in nature, allowing us to draw conclusions about causality between and among variables. The methodology involved mock jurors arriving in groups composed of five to ten individuals, completing demographic and personality questionnaires,17 viewing photographs of the plaintiff and defendant (varying the gender and race of each), then listening to the case facts and jury instructions on audiotape. The case facts were recorded by practicing attorneys experienced in sexual harassment litigation. Although presented in an abbreviated fashion, the simulated case was designed to contain all of the elements of an actual sexual harassment lawsuit in the state where the research was conducted.

The case facts were identical for all mock jurors, and involved a plaintiff (either female or male, and either white or black, depending on the experimental condition) who had traveled with the defendant (either male or female and either white or black, depending on the experimental condition) on an out of town business trip. The plaintiff was described as a recent college graduate who was new to the company. The defendant was described as the plaintiff’s supervisor, who was a rising star at the company. The scenario involved the defendant inviting the plaintiff into a hotel room, coercing the plaintiff to drink alcohol, then threatening the plaintiff into having sexual intercourse as a way to maintain job security. The plaintiff was described as initially hesitant, then yielding to pressure. The plaintiff complained to human resources upon returning to the home office, then was eventually fired. The plaintiff ultimately sued both the supervisor who initiated the sexual contact and the company by which they were employed (referred to as the corporate defendant.)

After receiving all the information necessary to reach a decision, mock jurors were asked to make an individual decision on liability and damages. Next, they elected a foreperson and deliberated until unanimity was reach on both liability and damages. All juries were able to reach unanimity. After a verdict was obtained, mock jurors once again indicated their individual opinions on liability and damages.

The mock jurors who participated in the combined study were 220 college students and 186 jury eligible citizens. The student mock jurors received course credit for their participation, while the jury eligible citizen mock jurors were paid for their participation. (To our knowledge, ours is the only active research program that involves dual samples of mock jurors within the same study. We believe it is critical to study jury eligible citizens’ responses to sexual harassment issues due to college students’ limited experiences, in general, and particularly in the workplace.18 Previous research has shown, for example, that college students’ lack of work experience leads to underestimation of sexual harassment in the workplace;19 this factor could have a biasing effect on research findings.)

Results of the Present Study

Liability and Damages Decisions

As depicted in Table 1, the litigants’ gender had a significant effect on mock jurors’ liability and damages decisions. College students attributed less responsibility to the plaintiff and more to the defendant when the plaintiff was male and the defendant was female. Jury eligible citizens attributed more responsibility to the defendant when the plaintiff was female, but made no distinction in attribution of responsibility of the plaintiff depending on the plaintiff’s gender. College students made no distinction in attributions of the corporate defendant’s responsibility depending on the plaintiff’s gender, while jury eligible citizens attributed more responsibility to the corporate defendant when the plaintiff was male. College students awarded more damages to the female plaintiff, while jury eligible citizens awarded more damages to the male plaintiff.

Closer examination of Table 1 reveals several interesting patterns in the results on liability decisions. First, most juries attributed approximately 16% to 17% of responsibility to the plaintiff. Only when the plaintiff was male and the mock jurors were college students did the plaintiff receive significantly less blame. Second, college students attributed approximately 55% of the blame to the individual defendant when the plaintiff was male; this is the same amount of blame attributed to the individual defendant by jury eligible citizens when the plaintiff was female. Third, only in the scenario involving jury eligible citizens and the male plaintiff did the individual defendant receive less than 50% of the blame. Fourth, it was only in this latter scenario that the corporate defendant received almost the same amount of blame as the individual defendant. Clearly, jury eligible citizens viewed the individual defendant’s actions as within the corporate defendant’s control when the plaintiff was a male who was harassed by a female supervisor. In contrast, college students’ most distinctive response was to attribute the least amount of fault to the male plaintiff.

Concerning damages, no overall pattern emerged in the data, except that college students awarded more damages to the female plaintiff while jury eligible citizens, in contrast, awarded more damages to the male plaintiff. These findings are rather unique in that college students attributed the lowest amount of blame to the male plaintiff, but awarded him almost $65,000.00 less than they awarded the female plaintiff. Jury eligible citizens’ focus appeared to be on the defendants’ conduct rather than the plaintiff’s, however, they awarded the male plaintiff over $100,000.00 more than the female plaintiff.

Race Effects

Table 2 depicts the effects of the individual defendant’s race on mock jurors’ liability and damages decisions. As evident in Table 2, the defendant’s race significantly impacted mock jurors’ liability judgments in the scenario involving the male plaintiff. When the defendant was white, mock jurors attributed less responsibility to the male plaintiff than the female plaintiff. In contrast, when the defendant was black, jurors blamed the male plaintiff than the female plaintiff. When the defendant was white, mock jurors attributed less blame to the individual defendant and more blame to the corporate defendant, as long as the plaintiff was male. these results were obtained regardless of the race of the plaintiff. The results indicate that a male who is sexually harassed by a black female supervisor is viewed as more responsible than plaintiffs in other harassing situations. In addition, when the individual defendant was a white male, mock jurors believed he was the most blameworthy of all types of defendants for the harassment of the plaintiff. In the condition involving the white female defendant, the company was perceived as much more responsible than the individual defendant.

As in the overall findings on damages, the effect of the defendant’s race on damages were less straightforward. The highest damages awards were obtained by the male plaintiff harassed by a black female defendant. This scenario was, perhaps, unfamiliar to mock jurors, such that they compensated novelty with greater amounts of money. Interestingly, the most typical case seen in the courts, a white male defendant accused of harassing a female, was the one in which the jury awarded the least amount in monetary damages.

Deliberations Analysis
In addition to the statistical analyses performed on the jury verdict data, we also analyzed the comments made by mock jurors during their deliberations. Mock jurors’ comments were categorized, based on their content, into 10 distinct groups:20
∙ plaintiff’s actions before/during the incident;
∙ corporate defendant’s actions before the incident;
∙ plaintiff’s actions after the incident;
∙ individual defendant’s actions after the incident;
∙ corporate defendant’s actions after the incident;
∙ plaintiff’s intimidation;
∙ consensual nature of the sexual encounter;
∙ damages; and
∙ miscellaneous.
The results of the analysis of mock jurors’ deliberations comments are presented in Tables 3-12.

While these detailed tables in many ways speak for themselves, a few points are worthy of extra consideration. First, regardless of the plaintiff’s and defendant’s genders, the majority of comments concerned the plaintiff’s conduct before and during the harassment (see Table 3). Regarding the individual defendant’s conduct before and during the incident, comments were distinct depending on the genders of the participants (see Table 4). For example, when the plaintiff was female and the defendant male, mock jurors’ comments centered on their beliefs that many males are preoccupied with sex. In contrast, when the plaintiff was male and the defendant female, comments focused on the defendant’s aggressiveness.

When discussing the plaintiff’s actions after the incident (see Table 6), mock jurors focused on the male plaintiff’s failure to attend a work related presentation on the day after being harassed. It seems that mock jurors believed a man should “be a man” and honor his professional obligations to a greater extent than his female counterpart. Table 10 reveals the far greater discussion of the consensual nature of the encounter when the plaintiff was female, while Table 11 indicates mock jurors’ focus on whether or not the male plaintiff can find another job. The comments summarized in Tables 3-12 are revealing in both their similarities and differences.

Implications of the Findings

The results of our study revealed that the gender of sexual harassment litigants plays an important role in jurors’ decision making. When the plaintiff was male and the defendant, female: college students engaged in less “victim blaming”; jury eligible citizens blamed the individual and corporate defendants to the same degree; and jury eligible citizens awarded more damages. In the study involving female to male sexual harassment, jurors’ comments centered on the overly aggressive female supervisor and the plaintiff’s weakness, as evidenced by his failure to attend a meeting on the day following the harassing encounter. It seems that jurors are likely to respond to the atypical gender conduct of both parties when a man is harassed by a woman, to the point that he may be blamed less and compensated more than his female counterpart.

Several explanations emerge for the results we obtained. Jury eligible citizens’ reluctance to blame one defendant over the other when the plaintiff was male could be due to their unwillingness to believe a woman could overpower or take advantage of a man. Blaming the company to the same degree as the female harasser in some ways disempowers the female by placing responsibility on the company for negligently putting her in the position of power. When the plaintiff was female, thus fitting jurors’ preconceived notions of sexual harassment victimization, no “justifications” are required for jurors’ decisions. Trial lawyers with sexual harassment cases that do not comform to the typical male to female pattern should take note of the blame shifting that occurs between individual and corporate defendants in the minds of jurors. Blame shifting has obvious consequences due to the relative resources of each defendant.

Race effects, although not the central focus of our study, emerged as a key factor in jury decision making. Few prior studies have examined cross racial sexual harassment and the results across these studies are inconclusive21. One study reported that, if the victim’s race differed from the defendant’s, the defendant was more likely to be found guilty than if the victim and defendant were of the same race.22 Another study revealed that, in a rape scenario that was identical for all participants, a black woman was perceived as a rape victim less often than a white woman.23 The results of our study indicate that race will be a focal issue with jurors in combination with other unusual circumstances. For example, when the defendant is both female and black and in a position of authority, male plaintiffs will be seen as more blameworthy, but as deserving of relatively high damages. Perhaps, jurors believe that in order for a black female to attain a position of authority, she must be extremely aggressive.

Attorneys who practice in the area of employment law, regardless of whether they represent plaintiffs or management, are advised to consider the unique aspects of each case, especially when the litigation does not fit “traditional” patterns of harassment. Just as in other cases involving difficult or unusual issues (or litigants), the best place to begin educating jurors about the nuances of the case is in voir dire. Ignoring or minimizing unusual aspects of the case, for example, the presence of a black female supervisor who is accused of sexually harassing her male subordinate, will not serve your client’s best interests. While it appears that many prospective jurors will have some familiarity with workplace sexual harassment, the trial attorney cannot assume the jurors’ experiences will provide an accurate understanding of the case at issue. Supplemental juror questionnaires are essential in voir dire in sexual harassment litigation. Without a supplemental juror questionnaire, it is impossible to ascertain honest responses regarding prospective jurors’ sexual attitudes and experiences.

In conclusion, the present study, the first scientific research to compare jurors’ reactions to litigants of different genders, provides the trial attorney with a new perspective on the minds
of the most important people in a trial, the jurors who decide the fate of one’s client. Future research will address sexual harassment in conditions of extreme power differences between the plaintiff and the defendant.

ENDNOTES

1 E. Peirce, C.A. Smolinski, & B. Rosen, Why Sexual Harassment Complaints Fall on Deaf Ears, 12(3) Academy of Management Executive 41 (1998).

2 Wall Street Journal, What if it Were a Corporate Executive and an Intern? (September 11, 1998).

3 Wall Street Journal, EEOC Sues Mitsubishi Unit for Harassment (April 10, 1996).

4 Merit Systems Protection Board, Sexual Harassment in the Federal Workplace. Washington, D.C.: Office of Merit Systems Review and Studies, 1981; T.L. Stawar, A Model for Sexual Harassment Behavior, 8 (9 & 10) The Forensic Examiner 30 (1999).

5 Stawar, supra note 4, at 30.

6 L.F. Fitzgerald, F. Drasgow, C.L. Hulin, M.J. Gelfand, & V.J. Magley, Antecedents and Consequences of Sexual Harassment in Organizations: A Test of an Integrated Model, 82(4) Journal of Applied Psychology 578 (1997).

7 Fitzgerald et al. supra note 6, at 580.

8 T.S. Jones and M.S. Remland, Sources of Variability in Perceptions of and Responses to Sexual Harassment, 27 (3/4) Sex Roles 121 (1992).

9 C. Struckman – Johnson and D. Struckman – Johnson, Men Pressured and Forced into Sexual Experience, 23 Archives of Sexual Behavior 93 (1994).

10 Struckman – Johnson and Struckman – Johnson, supra note 9, at 110.

11 C. Struckman – Johnson, Forced Sex on Dates: It Happens to Men, Too, 24 The Journal of Sex Research 234 (1988).

12 M.J. Allen, C.A. Armstrong, A.A. Clarin, & J.G. Velasquez, Severity and Gender Effects on Ratings of Sexual Harassment, Paper presented at the Western Psychological Association Meeting, San Francisco, CA (1988); Jones & Remland, supra note 8, at 124; S. Valentine – French and H.L. Radtke, Attributions of Responsibility for an Incident of Sexual Harassment in a University Setting 21 (7/8) Sex Roles 545 (1989).

13 L.F. Fitzgerald and S.L. Shullman, Sexual Harassment: A Research Analysis and Agenda for the 1990’s 42 Journal of Vocational Behavior 5 (1993); R. Hannon, H. Hall, J. Formati, & T. Miller, Judgments Regarding Sexual Aggression as a Function of Sex of Aggressor and Victim, Poster presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Meeting, Savannah, GA (1995).
14 H.S. Hyme, L.A. Foley, & M.A. Pigott, A Comparison of Male and Female Dominated Juries in a Case of Coerced Sex with a Male Plaintiff 17(3) American Journal of Forensic Psychology 67 (1999).

15 E.P. Gerdes, E.J. Damman, & K.E. Heilig, Perceptions of Rape Victims and Assailants: Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Acquaintance, and Subject Gender, 19 Sex Roles 141 (1988); I.W. Jensen & B.A. Gutek, Attributions and Assignment of Responsibility in Sexual Harassment, 38 Journal of Social Issues 121 (1982); J.W. Selby, L.G. Calhoun, & T.A. Brock, Sex Differences in the Social Perception of Rape Victims 3 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 412 (1977); M.A. Whatley & R.E. Riggio, Gender Differences in Attributions of Blame for Male Rape Victims, 8 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 502 (1993).

16 L.A. Foley & M.A. Pigott, An Experimental Study of a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit (1999) (manuscript submitted for publication); L.A. Foley, M.A. Pigott, C.J. Covati, & A.W. Wasserman, Factors Affecting Jurors’ Perceptions of Male Sexual Harassment (1999) (manuscript accepted for publication, Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice); M.A. Pigott and L.A. Foley, Individual and Corporate Responsibility in a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit, 20 Trial Diplomacy Journal 347 (1997).

17 See Foley & Pigott supra note 16 at 12; Foley et al, supra note 16 at 10; and Pigott & Foley, supra note 16 at 349; for reports of additional findings.

18 S.S. Diamond, Illuminations and Shadows from Jury Simulations, 21 Law and Human Behavior 561 (1997); D. Sears, College Sophomores in the Laboratory: Influences of a Narrow Data Base on Social Psychology’s View of Human Nature, 51 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 515 (1986).

19 P.A. Frazier et al., Social Science Research on Lay Definitions of Sexual Harassment, 51 Journal of Social Issues 21 (1995) T. Reilly et al., The Factorial Survey: An Approach to Defining Sexual Harassment on Campus 38 Journal of Social Issues 99 (1982).

20 Please note: the deliberations comments for the study involving the female plaintiff and male defendant were previously published; see Pigott and Foley, supra note 16 at 355.

21 L.A. Foley, C. Evancic, K. Karnick, J. King, & A. Parks. Date Rape: Effects of Race of Assailant and Victim and Gender of Subjects on Perceptions, 21 (1) Journal of Black Psychology 6 (1995); M.A. Gowan & R.A. Zimmerman, Impact of Ethnicity, Gender, and Previous Experience on Juror Judgments in Sexual Harassment Cases, 26 (7) Journal of Applied Social Psychology 596 (1996); R.W. Hymes, M. Leinhart, S. Rowe, & W. Rogers, Acquaintance Rape: The Effect of Race of Defendant and Race of Victim on White Juror Decisions, 133 (5) The Journal of Social Psychology 627 (1993).

22 Hymes et al., supra note 21 at 630.

23 Foley et al., supra note 21 at 15. Table 1

Mock Jury Decisions of Liability and Damages
______________________________________________________________________________

Type of Mock Juror
____________________________________________________________
College Jury Eligible
______________________________________________________________________________

Responsibility of Plaintiff
Male Plaintiff 12.68% 16.85%
(n=103) (n=94)

Female Plaintiff 16.31 16.58%
(n=117) (n=92)

______________________________________________________________________________

Responsibility of Individual Defendant
Male Plaintiff 55.08% 43.16%
(n=103) (n=94)

Female Plaintiff 50.54 54.89%
(n=117) (n=92)
_____________________________________________________________________________

Responsibility of Corporate Defendant
Male Plaintiff 32.24% 39.97%
(n=103) (n=94)

Female Plaintiff 33.28% 29.84%
(n=117) (n=92)

______________________________________________________________________________

Monetary Award
Male Plaintiff $355,796 $413,404
(n=93) (n=94)

Female Plaintiff $420,769 $312,500
(n=117) (n=92)
Table 2

Table 2 Effects of Defendant’s Race on Liability and Damages
______________________________________________________________________________

Race of Individual Defendant
____________________________________________________________
Black White
______________________________________________________________________________

Responsibility of Plaintiff
Male Plaintiff 20.49% 10.60%
(n=81) (n=116)

Female Plaintiff 18.18% 14.82%
(n=100) (n=109)

______________________________________________________________________________

Responsibility of Individual Defendant
Male Plaintiff 48.90% 49.74%
(n=81) (n=116)

Female Plaintiff 50.88 53.90%
(n=100) (n=109)
______________________________________________________________________________

Responsibility of Corporate Defendant
Male Plaintiff 30.60% 39.66%
(n=81) (n=116)

Female Plaintiff 31.64% 31.88%
(n=100) (n=109)

______________________________________________________________________________

Monetary Award
Male Plaintiff $402,113 $374,129
(n=71) (n=116)

Female Plaintiff $384,850 $362,340
(n=100) (n=109) Table 3

Juror Comments:

Plaintiff’s Actions Before/During the Incident* (75, 71)

Plaintiff has some personal responsibility;
Plaintiff could have left. (29, 34)

Plaintiff should have used better judgment. (14, 14)

Plaintiff should have known not to go to defendant’s room. (14, 12)

Plaintiff had no idea of what was about to happen. (7, 2)

Plaintiff has no self respect. (5, 0)

Plaintiff was unprofessional. (4, 4)

Plaintiff should be flattered. (0, 3)

There was something going on between them before the trip (2, 0)

Plaintiff could have a history of these complaints (0, 2)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 4

Juror Comments:

Individual Defendant’s Actions Before/During the Incident* (46, 41)

As the boss, the defendant should not have put the plaintiff in that position. (19, 5)

The defendant invited the plaintiff into the room with sex in mind. (15, 3)

The defendant was a repeat offender. (8, 4)

Most men are going to be looking for sex when they are alone with a woman. (4, 0)

The defendant threatened, but did not force, the plaintiff to have sex. (0, 7)

The defendant forced the plaintiff to have sex by threatening the plaintiff’s job. (0, 13)

The defendant is aggressive. (0, 7)

The defendant is a sexual predator. (0, 2)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 5

Juror Comments:

Corporate Defendant’s Actions Before the Incident* (58, 70)

The company was responsible; they knew the defendant’s record. (24, 27)

The company should have made sure the defendant was not left alone with the plaintiff due to the past incident. (10, 16)

The company should have fired the defendant after the previous incident. (10, 5)

The company was right to give the defendant a second chance. (4, 0)

The company paid “hush money” to the other victim. (4, 0)

The company cannot control its employees at all times. (2, 6)

The company kept the defendant because of superior job performance. (0, 10)

The company should have sexual harassment awareness classes. (0, 4)

The company should have removed the defendant from a supervisory position. (0, 2)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 6

Juror Comments:

Plaintiff’s Actions After the Incident*
(19, 32)

The plaintiff should have complained immediately. (6, 4)

The plaintiff should have gone to the meeting the next morning. (3, 17)

The plaintiff was fired for poor job performance. (2, 4)

The plaintiff had too much to lose by lying; the plaintiff’s story is true. (2, 0)

The plaintiff should have gone to a higher up with the complaint. (2, 0)

If I have a daughter, she’s going to know to file a complaint. (1, 0)

One third of rape victims do not report it because they are made to feel like they asked for it. (1, 0)

The plaintiff had firm convictions to go through with this. (1, 0)

The plaintiff should not have complained. (0, 3)

A man’s complaint about sexual harassment does not have the same credibility as a woman’ s complaint. (0, 2)

The plaintiff is a trouble maker. (0, 1)

Because the plaintiff went back to work, the plaintiff was not upset. (0, 1)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant
Table 7

Juror Comments:

Individual Defendant’s Actions After the Incident* (11, 5)

The defendant’s story was a cover up. (7, 0)

The defendant will do this again if the company is let off the hook. (2, 0)

Supervisors should not advertise their sex lives (1, 4)

The defendant is an important employee;
The defendant will not do this again (1, 0)

A woman scorned will seek revenge (0, 1)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 8

Juror Comments:

Corporate Defendant’s Actions After the Incident* (29, 21)

The plaintiff became the sacrificial lamb. (8, 1)

The company should have investigated the situation more thoroughly. (8, 2)

The company has a responsibility to its employees. (6, 20)

The company told the plaintiff not to complain. (4, 1)

The company cannot assume responsibility for employees’ actions. (1, 0)

The company should fire the defendant. (1, 5)

The company would have behaved differently if the plaintiff had not had sex with the defendant. (1, 0)

The company engaged in a cover up. (0, 8)

The company is protecting its best employee. (0, 2)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 9

Juror Comments:

Plaintiff’s Intimidation* (36, 35)

The plaintiff consented to have sex because of fear of being fired. (11, 12)

The defendant’s position of power intimidated the plaintiff. (9, 4)

The plaintiff got into a bad situation and could not get out. (8, 6)

When the defendant threatened the plaintiff, it “crossed the line.” (4, 5)

The plaintiff was young and easily intimidated. (2, 2)

Because of the plaintiff’s probationary status at the company, the plaintiff had to go along with the defendant. (2, 3)

This situation would not intimidate a man. (0, 3)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 10

Juror Comments:

Consensual Nature of the Encounter* (32, 8)

This was not rape; the plaintiff agreed to have sex. (14, 2)

Consent is responsibility. (6, 1)

The plaintiff used poor judgment, but agreed to have sex. (6, 0)

If the plaintiff had not agreed to have sex, we would not be here. (6, 0)

Both the plaintiff and the defendant enjoyed themselves. (0, 5)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 11

Juror Comments:

Damages* (52, 59)

The plaintiff will have difficulty finding another job. (10, 21)

There was no force involved; plaintiff does not deserve much money. (10, 0)

The plaintiff is asking for too much money. (8, 2)

The plaintiff will need counseling. (7, 7)

The plaintiff can find another job. (5, 15)

The company should be punished. (4, 6)

The company has deep pockets. (3, 0)

The attorneys’ fees will have to be paid. (3, 3)

The plaintiff has no pain and suffering. (0, 4)

Insurance will pay the award. (0, 1)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant Table 12

Juror Comments:

Miscellaneous* (19, 11)

Stories are conflicting; cannot discern truth. (5, 3)

Drinking often leads to sex. (3, 3)

Company policy regulates business trips. (3, 0)

People try to get money from these situations. (2, 1)

Both the man and the woman knew better than to do this. (2, 0)

It could have been an attraction. (1, 0)

The plaintiff was victimized. (1, 1)

This is still a man’s world. (1, 0)

All hotels have conference rooms for business meetings. (1, 0)

This would be different if it involved a male boss and a female victim. (0, 2)

This is just like the movie “Disclosure”. (0, 1)

*First number is for female plaintiff/male defendant;
Second number is for male plaintiff/female defendant