Sexual harassment: Organizations must stop protecting ‘brilliant jerks’

More rules is not what's going to stop sexual harassment at work, says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. Change the culture.

  • "Too many organizations have tolerated the brilliant jerk. Too many organizations have tolerated the highly profitable sexual harasser or bully," says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. At this point in time, more rules is not the answer. The workplace culture must reject harassers.
  • When organizations do nothing to stop harassers and have one set of rules for the powerful and one for the powerless, productivity, workplace culture, and morale are affected in ways we can measure, and in insidious, destructive ways that we cannot.
  • "Think about it, says Taylor. "Your star performer is known to flirt the line, if not cross the line, with respect to inappropriate workplace behavior. Are you prepared to fire that person, even if it means you may lose a major contract? That's when employees will judge who you are and what this company is really about. They're going to judge you on what you do, not what you say."
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The psychology of healing from sexual trauma

A deeper look at what happens in the first 2 years after experiencing sexual trauma.

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Shutterstock

Content Warning:
The content in this article may be triggering to some readers. This article contains discussion around the topics of sexual assault, rape, sexual violence, trauma and PTSD. Please read at your own discretion.


  • Between 17-25% of women and 1-3% of men will report an instance of sexual abuse within their lifetime - however, research suggests up to 80% of sexual violence goes unreported, so the number of people who have experienced sexual abuse is much higher than you think.
  • A 2004 study takes a look at the psychological healing process sexual abuse survivors experience within the first 21 months after their assault.
  • Results of this study prove the decrease in behavioral self-blame that survivors reported feeling within the first 21 months after their attack greatly aided in their recovery.
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We can halve most forms of violence by 2030. Here's how.

A second step is to determine where violence concentrates and who is most at risk.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Violence has always been one of humanity's most serious global challenges. This is because for most of history, we were natural born killers.

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What internet searches reveal about human sexuality

Polls never reveal who we really are. Google does.

Photo by Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images
  • In Everybody Lies, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz discusses how Pornhub and Google data provide a window into human sexuality.
  • Large, anonymized data sets are more reliable indicators than polling or other traditional methods.
  • More people report having sex than actually having sex, Stephens-Davidowitz reports.
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Will robots free people from slavery?

Even if automation makes human trafficking economically inefficient, that alone won't end this unethical practice.

  • Robotic automation may one day make slavery economically inefficient, but automation does not spring forth fully formed.
  • An interim period of piecemeal coverage may leave many at-risk, low-skilled workers in danger of exploitation.
  • Nor can automation sate the political and social motives for slavery found in some societies.
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