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Share of Americans who have been victims of sexual harassment as of 2017, by gender

During this 2017 survey, 42 percent of surveyed women stated they have experienced sexual harassment, while 11 percent of surveyed men stated the same. In total, about 27 percent of American adults stated they have been sexually harassed before.

Increasing awareness in the U.S.

Sexual harassment is, of course, illegal but notoriously underreported. The discrepancy between perceived figures of cases and actual ones is severe, and in fact the actual number of cases of sexual harassment is at least twice as high as the average guesses, regardless of the country the survey was conducted in. However, in the United States, only a third of men and just as many women are really concerned about sexual harassment of women.

#metoo sheds some light on dark figures

When the #metoo movement started in 2017, many women and men came forward and shared their experiences, and the number of reported cases of rape increased significantly. Public support for this movement is high in the United States, especially among the younger generations. Still, the United States have a long way to go, with harassment and discrimination based on gender and sexual harassment in the workplace still being a problem that needs to be addressed more thoroughly.

Share of Americans who have been victims of sexual harassment as of 2017, by gender

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Release date

November 2017


United States

Survey time period

October 30-31, 2017

Number of respondents


Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Telephone interview

Supplementary notes

The source worded the original question as follows: "Have you ever been a victim of sexual harassment?"

* Female respondents in 2017: n=454
Male respondents in 2017: 558.

Missing percentage points to 100 percent are due to respondents stating "no opinion".

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