Saying that the way girls dress leads to harassment encourages tolerance of sexual harassment

Scientific evidence platform Scientific evidence Saying that the way girls dress leads to harassment encourages tolerance of sexual harassment

There are numerous studies on the perception of different sectors of society towards victims of sexual harassment. For example, it has been studied how the clothing worn by victims when they are harassed influences many people to attribute blame for the harassment to the victim herself, rather than to the harasser (Lewis & Johnson, 1989). Myths such as blaming or holding victims of sexual harassment responsible for the way they dress are not only sexist, but promote the legitimization and tolerance of sexual harassment (Fernandez & Nor, 2019; Gramazio et al., 2018).

Now, it is different to advise a girl not to go alone through a park at 3 o’clock in the morning in a miniskirt, not because if she is harassed it will be her responsibility, but because if it happens, society will not support her.


Fernandez, J., & Nor, A. (2019). Enough of This Nonsense! Rape Is Rape: A Malaysian Perspective. Journal of Humanistic Psychology,


Gramazio, S., Cadinu, M., Pagliaro, S., & Pacilli, M. (2018). Sexualization of Sexual Harassment Victims Reduces Bystanders’ Help: The Mediating Role of Attribution of Immorality and Blame. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(13-14), 6073-6097.


Lewis, L., & Johnson, K. K. (1989). Effect of dress, cosmetics, sex of subject, and causal inference on attribution of victim responsibility. Clothing & Textiles Research Journal, 8(1), 22–27.

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