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Sexual harassment is harassment or unwelcome attention of a sexual nature. It includes a range of behavior from mild transgressions and annoyances to serious abuses, which can even involve forced sexual activity. (Dziech et al 1990, Boland 2002) Sexual harassment is considered a form of illegal discrimination in many countries, and is a form of abuse (sexual and psychological) and bullying.
It has been suggested that the term "sexual harassment" was coined in 1974 at Cornell University, (Patai, pp. 17-19), however, it was the United States Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas, and Anita Hill's testimony, that brought the issue to national attention in the U.S. For many businesses, preventing sexual harassment, and defending its managerial employees from sexual harassment charges, have become key goals of legal decision-making. In contrast, many scholars complain that sexual harassment in education remains a "forgotten secret," with educators and administrators refusing to admit the problem exists in their schools, or accept their legal and ethical responsibilities to deal with it. (Dziech, 1990)