Gender Myths V. Working Realities: Using Social Science To Reformulate Sexual Harassment Law

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-12-30
  • Publisher: New York Univ Pr

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View the target=_blank>Table of Contents. Read the target=_blank>Introduction.Concentrating on contentious issues such as severity and pervasiveness, reasonableness standards, unwelcomeness, causation, employer liability, and remedies, Beiner highlights the mismatches between the law and empirical research and suggests both legal reforms and research questions to close the gap. Written in clear, compelling prose, the study will enlighten readers curious about contemporary questions in sexual harassment law as well as specialists interested in the intersection of law and social science."--Choice, highly recommendedFortunately, Beiner is not only a law professor: she also has practiced law and is clearly well acquainted with the difficulties of getting these cases before a jury. Her book seeks to help plaintiffs survive summary judgment so they can prove their cases in court.--Trial MagazineBeiner''s book is a striking example of the thoughtful and clever use of social science research findings to point to changes that will improve the operation of an important US social institution.--Labour/Le TravailA readable synthesis of legal rules and real life, accessible to both lawyers and non-lawyers--for all those interested in reducing sexual harassment on the job. Beiner makes a crucial contribution to the discussion of sexual harassment by demonstrating the relevance of social science research to legal doctrine. She convincingly exposes the limited effectiveness of current case law in preventing sexual harassment and demonstrates that federal judges often make decisions based on myths and stereotypes about how people behave, not on the reality women face in the workplace.--Martha S. West, University of California Davis, co-author of Sex-Based DiscriminationIn this timely and important book, Beiner explores the growing disconnect between judges'' unfounded assumptions about how people respond to sexualized conduct in the workplace and what empirical research in the social sciences is telling us about the same subject. In many arenas, the antidiscrimination doctrine emerging from the federal courts is being built on a foundation of ''junk social science.'' Beiner shines a light on this problem as it has manifested in the evolving law of sexual harassment.--Linda Hamilton Krieger, Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley, School of LawBeiner has done a superb job of reviewing the social science research that applies directly to the law on sexual harassment. Beiner suggests reforms to the legal standard and provides sensible recommendations for interpreting the law to be more compatible with the way people behave when they are sexually harassed.--Barbara A. Gutek, Professor and Eller Chair in Women and Leadership, University of ArizonaGender Mythis v. Working Realities is an innovative and fresh approach to a complex problem. The concept for the book is both fascinating and intriguing.--The Law and Politics Book ReviewBoth the courts and the public seem confused about sexual harassment--what it is, how it functions, and what sorts of behaviors are actionable in court. Theresa M. Beiner contrasts perspectives from social scientists on the realities of workplace sexual harassment with the current legal standard. When it comes to sexual harassment law, all too often courts (and employers) are left in the difficult position of grappling with vague legal standards and little guidance about what sexual harassment is and what can be done to stop it. Often, courts impose their own stereotyped view of how women and men ought to behave in the workplace. This viewpoint, social science reveals, is frequently out of sync with reality.As a legal scholar who takes social science seriously, Beiner provides valuable insight into what behaviors people perceive as sexually harassing, why such behavior can be characterized as discrimination because of sex, and what types of workplaces are more conducive to sexually harassing behavior than others

Author Biography

Theresa M. Beiner is Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: What Law Can Learn from Social Science about Workplace Sexual Harassment 1(14)
1 Making a More Realistic Assessment of What Is Sufficiently Severe or Pervasive to Constitute Sexual Harassment 15(31)
2 The Reasonable Woman Standard: Much Ado about Nothing? 46(16)
3 The Conundrum of "Unwelcome" Sexual Harassment 62(35)
4 Conceptualizing Sexual Harassment as "Because of Sex" 97(48)
5 Reality Bites the Ellerth/Faragher Standard for Imputing Liability to Employers for Supervisor Sexual Harassment 145(35)
6 Making Targets Whole and Deterring Defendants 180(21)
7 The New Sexual Harassment Claim 201(8)
Notes 209(44)
Index 253(8)
About the Author 261

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