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Poll: One in Four US Women Reports Workplace Harassment

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One in four American women has experienced workplace sexual harassment, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

One in 10 men say they’ve experienced it as well, and a quarter of men say they worry about being falsely accused of sexual harassment.

With harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain dominating the headlines, this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, shows the extent to which the subject resonates in the personal experiences and concerns of many Americans.

Overall, 64 percent see sexual harassment as a problem in this country, soaring to 88 percent of women who’ve been harassed.  Still, the overall number is far below its peak -- 85 percent -- in late 1992.  That was a year after the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, who was accused of harassment by former co-worker Anita Hill, and during the sexual misconduct scandal that forced then Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., from office.

Experience of harassment is also down from its peak, from 32 percent of women in surveys in late 1992 and mid-1994 to 24 percent now.  Additionally, among women who’ve been sexually harassed, somewhat more now say they reported it to their employer -- 41 percent, compared with 33 percent in 1994.

Further, the number of men who worry about being falsely accused has eased a bit from 31 percent in 1994 to 25 percent now.  And fewer men think they’ve said or done things that might be construed as workplace sexual harassment -- 10 percent now vs. 25 percent in 1994.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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