What Are the Different Types of Harassment of Women?

V. Saxena

The harassment of women is a very serious issue that affects every corner of the world. The most common type of harassment experienced by women is sexual harassment, but there are other types as well. These include psychological harassment, sexual orientation harassment, cyber harassment, and workplace harassment.

Young adolescents and teens are common targets for internet harassment.
Young adolescents and teens are common targets for internet harassment.

Sexual harassment of women is a punishable crime in all First World countries, but there are still some Second and Third World countries that allow it. This form of harassment entails approaching, intimidating, or touching a woman in a way that implies sexual activity or rape. Sexual harassment is most prevalent in poorer communities that lack opportunities to succeed.

Many places have strict laws against workplace harassment.
Many places have strict laws against workplace harassment.

Another aspect of sexual harassment is that which relates to the harassment of girls. Young women are especially susceptible to sexual harassment from school peers and potential sex predators, such as teachers and other school staff members. Statistics reveal that 90% of all young females experience sexual harassment at least once during their tenure at school.

Psychological harassment is very common in workplaces.
Psychological harassment is very common in workplaces.

The harassment of women can also occur with just words alone. This form of harassment, known as psychological harassment, involves verbally abusing a woman by humiliating her. Psychological harassment is very common in workplaces, where co-workers, especially men, might feel threatened by a female employee. Due to its nature, psychological harassment tends to oftentimes overlap with sexual harassment.

Touching a woman in a way that implies sexual activity is considered harassment.
Touching a woman in a way that implies sexual activity is considered harassment.

Two additional forms of harassment appeared around the end of the 20th century. Sexual orientation harassment refers to harassing women who are homosexual or bisexual. More specifically, it concerns cases in which a woman is discriminated at work because of her sexual orientation.

Cyber harassment concerns situations in which an individual uses the Internet to send a harassing message to a woman. This type of harassment also tends to overlap with sexual harassment because the Internet is crawling with sexual predators. As such, many women and young girls experience cyber harassment.

Another very serious form of harassment is workplace harassment. This can encompass any type of harassment. It is essentially the harassment of women while at work. Due to widespread occurrences, many countries have passed laws that strictly prohibit workplace harassment.

The harassment of women has occurred throughout history and will likely keep occurring. As societies develop and become more sophisticated, the hope is that harassment will slowly decline in occurrence. Until then, women can protect themselves from harassment by learning about the different types, acquiring self defense training, and staying up to date on the laws concerning the female harassment.

A women might be harassed by an ex who won't leave them alone.
A women might be harassed by an ex who won't leave them alone.

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Discussion Comments


Can we also tell women to stop sexually harassing other women while we're at it? I've never been inappropriately touched by men -- only women. And when I told them to stop (most of them were years older than me, like distant aunts and so on) they yell at me or scream at me. One aunt told me to show my breasts to her and when I told her "no," she yelled at me and acted like I was being disrespectful. Women think it's okay because they're women, but it's uncomfortable. If we're going to tell boys not to touch women, then please tell other women as well.


The most often used and the easiest way to insult a girl is by calling her a slut and making accusations about her character, and men know that very well. Another thing in the fear of the reputation of their family. There should be laws that focus on these points. Never bow down and do not cry. Put up a fight.


@Kristee – I agree with you. I also think that women who suffer abuse throughout their lives are actually being harassed by grownup bullies.

Anyone who attempts any form of harassment on a woman because of her gender is a bully. Men who see women as weak and easy to intimidate have the same mindset as school bullies who seek out the weakest kid to pick on.

I do sympathize with women who are afraid to report abuse for fear of suffering more abuse later, though. It would be very scary to get someone in trouble and have them return with a vengeance.


Another type of harassment is the kind that occurs over the telephone. There are men who would rather call a woman up and say nasty things to her than say anything to her face.

I think that telephone harassment occurs most between women and their ex-boyfriends who just won't let go. I have a friend whose ex kept calling her phone for a month after they broke up. She would never answer, but he would leave long messages on her machine.

Sometimes, he would be begging her to come back. Other times, he would say things that made her fearful.

Though there was no actual touching or violence involved, this kind of harassment messed with her head. I would consider it psychological harassment.


I think that bullying is a form of harassment. It happens to both girls and boys in school all the time, but it is often either hard to prove or it goes unnoticed by authorities.

It's sad to me that girls are often afraid to report bullying. They are scared that if the bullies are punished, they will do something even worse to the victims when they return to school.


You can also be harassed through the mail. When I worked at a newspaper, my face and my writing were seen by thousands of people across the county. I had one man who kept writing me letters addressed to the paper, and he would not relent.

He wanted to meet me, and at first, his letters weren't that bad. However, after I didn't respond, they became threatening and a bit vulgar.

Since he didn't give his name or address, it was hard for the cops to track the letters. This was a strange form of harassment at work, and no one there could help me since it didn't come from within the building.

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