Types of Sexual Harassment

  1. Quid pro quo. "Quid pro quo" is a Latin term meaning "this for that." This term refers to conditions placed on a person’s career or terms of employment in return for favors. It includes implicit or explicit threats of adverse action if the person does not submit to such conditions and promises of favorable actions if the person does submit to such conditions. Examples include demanding sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, award or favorable assignment; disciplining or relieving a subordinate who refuses sexual advances; and threats of poor job evaluation for refusing sexual advances. Incidents of quid pro quo may also have a harassing effect on third persons. It may result in allegations of sexual favoritism or general discrimination when a person feels unfairly deprived of recognition, advancement, or career opportunities because of favoritism shown to another Soldier or Civilian employee on the basis of a sexual relationship. An example would be a Soldier who is not recommended for promotion and who believes that his or her squad leader recommended another Soldier in his or her squad for promotion on the basis of provided or promised sexual favors, not upon merit or ability.
  2. Hostile environment. A hostile environment, to include the work environment, can occur when Soldiers or Civilians are subjected to offensive, unwanted and unsolicited comments, or conduct of a sexual nature. An abusive or hostile environment need not result in concrete psychological harm to the victim, but rather need only be so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would perceive, and the victim does perceive, the work environment as hostile or offensive. (“Workplace” is an expansive term for military members and may include conduct on or off duty, 24 hours a day). A hostile environment brings the topic of sex or gender into the workplace in any one of a number of forms. Conduct considered under the hostile environment definition generally includes nonviolent, gender-biased sexual behaviors (for example, the use of derogatory gender-biased terms, comments about body parts, suggestive pictures, and explicit jokes).