Sexual Harassment Essay

1635 words - 7 pages

Issues of sexual harassment using various ethical theories
It is vague to define sexual harassment as different people hold different values, standards of morality and sense of humour. Sexual harassment is about the fundamental of ethics that guide the behaviour.  Ethics is the system of moral principles; while moral is concerning principles of right and wrong behaviour (Shaw and Barry, 2000).  Therefore, it is a decision-making process from an ethical dilemma leading to a decision of right or wrong moral.  The arguments against sexual harassment are discussed with different ethical principles.
Immanuel Kant’s perspective
Kant’s philosophy was that ‘each person thinks of themselves as a ...view middle of the document...

He says that this depends on the right to dispose over the other person as a whole but questions how one obtains these rights. He answers this questions that by giving the other person the same right over one’s body in equal measure. However, this happens only in marriage in the form of a matrimony agreement, by which they grant each other right to the other person, by surrendering their body to the other person.
Sexual Harassment from a Utilitarian Perspective
The Utilitarianism view is a consequentialist branch and is one of the better-known views of consequential ethical viewpoints. Utilitarianism is the doctrine that the morally correct course of action that results in bringing about the greatest good for the greatest number, regardless of the distribution of benefits and burdens, should be chosen over alternative paths.
Sexual Harassment in the Corporate Environment
Utilitarianism is a theory that defines morality by net maximization of expected utility of all parties affected by the decision or action initiated by the agent. Utilitarianism, as defined is the philosophy that has the policy that an action or a decision carried out by an agent is the ‘right’ decision if it creates as much or more of an increase in happiness to all those affected than it would have by an alternative action, and is the wrong decision or action if it does not have this affect. Utilitarianism as a place in ethics looks at the consequences of the act and not on the motives or nature of the agent, (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, 2008). The utilitarian viewpoint allows us to consider the immediate and less immediate consequences of the agent’s actions and to look beyond the self-interests and to consider the impartial interests of all persons affected by ones actions. The utilitarian viewpoint offers a simple way of deciding the morally right course of action to take, which is to choose the course of action which gives the greatest amount of benefits once costs have been taken into account. Carrying out a sexual harassing act may not be the best course of action when the act of refraining from carrying out such an act towards an individual may have better results and better consequences for the team.
Based on the principles of utilitarianism, it is unlikely in the cases of sexual harassment.  A victim obtains an assignment or a job from submitting a sexual harassment is not true job qualifications.  Sexual harassment would also negatively affect the performance of the victims.  These evidences show that it is the harasser who gets the maximum pleasures from the action; while the victim receives the greatest amount of pain in the process. Therefore, sexual harassment is unethical as it reduces the net social benefits according to Schumann (2001).
Hence and therefore sexual harassment fails the rule utilitarianism.  The rule maintains that the proper principles of right and wrong are those that would maximize happiness if society adopted them (Shaw and Barry,...

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