Survey shows 1 in 3 men don’t think catcalling is sexual harassment

In the weeks since allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced, reports of abuse across multiple industries have skyrocketed.

Explore» RELATED: Harvey Weinstein scandal: ‘No way all these people could have been victims and men didn’t know...’

In fact, according to officials with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, survivors have been reaching out to RAINN's sexual assault hotline in record numbers since the Weinstein allegations and the powerful #MeToo social media campaign that followed.

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In October alone, the organization assisted a record 19,432 people.

Explore» RELATED: Will #MeToo campaign keep building and lead to lasting change?

While victims, mostly women, have been empowered to speak up and share their stories, many have wondered about men's education on sexual harassment.

#HowIWillChange: Recognise I don't need to be a perpetrator to be a bad guy. Questioning harassment, not doing anything about it—all as bad.

🌈 (@mrbenjaminlaw)

ExploreOctober 16, 2017
Explore» RELATED: What Hollywood’s men are saying about Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment allegations

Data marketer Brionna Lewis with auto company Instamotor set out to find some answers.

In a survey of 750 adult men in the United States conducted between Oct. 20-21 via the survey platform Pollfish, men answered questions about their experiences and thoughts on sexual harassment and assault.

Explore» RELATED: #MeToo: Women share harrowing accounts of sexual assault, harassment
ExploreHere’s what the survey found:

Credit: JackF

Credit: JackF

Many men aren’t really clear on what constitutes sexual harassment.

According to the survey, one out of three respondents said they don’t think catcalling is sexual harassment, and two out of three respondents said they don’t think repeated unwanted invitations to dinner, drinks or dates is sexual harassment.

Explore» RELATED: Sexual harassment in the workplace: What is it, how to report it and more you should know

But men are definitely witnessing sexual harassment.

According to the survey, 45 percent of the men said they’ve witnessed someone being sexually harassed, with 50 percent of respondents reporting such incidents occurred at work or at a party, bar or nightclub.

Other areas where respondents said they witnessed someone being sexually harassed:

  • Street (47 percent)
  • School (43 percent)
  • Public transportation (32 percent)
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Some are speaking up for others.

One third of respondents said they have directly confronted offenders when they witnessed sexual harassment or assault, and nearly a quarter said they intervened by interrupting the act, distracting from the act or by acting in another way.

Still, 18 percent of the men said they either said or did nothing when witnessing sexual harassment or assault, and more than a quarter of respondents said they regretted their decision to not do more to help when witnessing an incident.

Explore» RELATED: Timeline of Weinstein allegations dating back decades

Many of the men are also victims.

According to the survey, more than one quarter of the men said they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted themselves.

But some men think sexual harassment isn’t a huge deal.

Nearly one out of five respondents said they don’t think sexual harassment is a fireable offense.

Additionally, a quarter of the survey respondents said they believed the increased conversation around sexual harassment was unjustified.

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Possible limitations of the survey do exist, however.

According to the Washington Post, the poll used a non-probability sampling technique instead of random sampling, and it's not clear whether the findings are representative of American men overall.

Read more about Instamotor's study at

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