The Illinois Sexual Harassment Myth Acceptance Scale

Developed and published by: Kimberly A. Lonsway, Lilia M. Cortina & Vicki J Magley (2008), Sexual Harassment Mythology: Definition, Conceptualization, and Measurement. Sex Roles (58), 599-615. Printed by the Learning Network with the Permission of the authors.

Responses to all items fall along a 7 point Likert scale:
1= strongly disagree to 7= strongly disagree

  1. As long as a woman doesn’t lose her job, her claim of sexual harassment shouldn’t be taken too seriously
  2. Women who claim that they have been sexually harassed are usually exaggerating.
  3. If a woman is sexually harassed, she must have done something to invite it.
  4. Women often file frivolous charges of sexual harassment.
  5. If a woman doesn’t make a complaint, it probably wasn’t serious enough to be sexual harassment.
  6. It is difficult to believe sexual harassment charges that were not reported at the time.
  7. Women who wait weeks or months to report sexual harassment are probably just making it up.
  8. Women who claim sexual harassment have usually done something to cause it.
  9. Sometimes women make up allegations of sexual harassment to extort money from their employer.
  10. Women who are caught having an affair with their supervisor sometimes claim that it was sexual harassment.
  11. Women sometimes file charges of sexual harassment for no apparent reason.
  12. A woman can easily ruin her supervisor’s career by claiming that he “came on” to her.
  13. Sometimes a woman has a “fantasy” relationship with her boss and then claims that he sexually harassed her.
  14. Most women are flattered when they get sexual attention from men with whom they work.
  15. Most women secretly enjoy it when men “come on” to them at work.
  16. It’s inevitable that men will “hit on” women at work.
  17. Women shouldn’t be so quick to take offense when a man at work expresses sexual interest.
  18. Women can usually stop unwanted sexual attention by simply telling the man that his behavior is not appreciated.
  19. Women can usually stop unwanted sexual attention from a co-worker by telling their supervisor about it.
  20. Nearly all instances of sexual harassment would end if the woman simply told the man to stop.