2. Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for significant employment decisions (such as advancement, performance evaluation, or work schedule) or academic decisions (such as grading or letters of recommendation) affecting that individual
- The conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would consider it intimidating, hostile, or abusive and it adversely affects an individual’s educational, work, or living environment.
A partial list of examples of conduct that might be deemed to constitute sexual harassment if sufficiently severe or pervasive include:
- Examples of verbal sexual harassment may include unwelcome conduct such as sexual flirtation, advances or propositions or requests for sexual activity or dates; asking about someone else’s sexual activities, fantasies, preferences, or history; discussing one’s own sexual activities, fantasies, preferences, or history; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; suggestive comments; sexually explicit jokes; turning discussions at work or in the academic environment to sexual topics; and making offensive sounds such “wolf whistles.”
- Examples of nonverbal sexual harassment may include unwelcome conduct such as displaying sexual objects, pictures, or other images; invading a person’s personal body space, such as standing closer than appropriate or necessary or hovering; displaying or wearing objects or items of clothing which express sexually offensive content; making sexual gestures with hands or body movements; looking at a person in a sexually suggestive or intimidating manner; or delivering unwanted letters, gifts, or other items of a sexual nature.
RELATED POLICY: The Institute’s complete harassment policy, addressing all forms of harassment, can be found in Section 9.5 of the Institute Policies and Procedures. See also Mind & Hand Book § II (13) for MIT’s policy for students addressing harassment. Students should be aware that MIT prohibits all gender-based harassment (including harassment based on gender, sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation, or gender identity), not just harassment that is sexual in nature.
RELATED POLICY: Individuals should be aware that unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that does not rise to the level of “sexual harassment” and gender-based harassing conduct that does not rise to the level of “harassment” may still violate Section 9.2 of the Institute Policies and Procedures.