"Hey Sexy Thing, Why Don’t You Come Over Here?" Simulated Stranger Harassment and Its Effects on Women's Emotions and Cognitions

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Hanna, Rima
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University of Guelph

The primary purpose of the current study is to investigate whether exposure to simulated street harassment in a laboratory setting increases women’s anxiety and fear of rape. Different male voices for the stimuli were randomly assigned to investigate if perceived ethnic identity interacts with the experimental conditions to further elevate negative emotions (anxiety and anger) or fear of rape. Female identified students were recruited (n = 165). There were negative effects of exposure to harassment (complimentary or hostile) regardless of ethnicity of the man (Black/African/Caribbean Canadian or White/European Canadian) with increases in women’s anxiety and anger. Hostile street harassment had the largest negative effect on women’s anxieties and anger. There were small differences found between the groups on the fear of rape measure. Results also showed that participants reported high levels of reacting passively to street harassment. This is a replication study based on a 2014 study by R. Hanna.

street harassment, stranger harassment, simulated street harassment, simulated stranger harassment, fear of rape, anxiety, anger, anger and anxiety, catcalling, active reactions to harassment, implicit racism, passive reactions to harassment, hostile sexism, benevolent sexism, objectification, self-objectification, fear, male strangers, public sphere, women's cognitions, women's moods, violence against women, perceived ethnic identity, complimentary harassment, complimentary sexism