Sexual Harassment in Care Work

Rikke Papendick Johansen

Student thesis: Bachelor project


Background: Sexual harassment in care work, more specifically sexual harassment in the interaction between recipients of in-home care and young, female social work assistants and social workers providing in-home care, is a widespread and serious issue whose causes are not sufficiently brought to light in the existing research literature.
Objectives: The purpose of the project is to illuminate how and why sexual harassment occurs between caregivers and care recipients in municipal in-home care and to propose how its occurrence can be reduced and prevented.
Design: The project is based on a single qualitative interview with a young woman who works as a substitute caregiver in a municipal home-care service. The analysis is structured according to an integrated model developed by L. F. Fitzgerald and colleagues and thus falls into three parts, the first of which concerns the organisational context, the second the job gender context and the third the sexual harassment itself. The analysis also incorporates perspectives from several other explanatory models and from other relevant research literature. On the basis of the analytical findings, several proposals for ways to reduce and prevent the occurrence of sexual harassment in care work are suggested.
Conclusion: The sexual harassment that occurs in interactions between care recipients and caregivers in in-home care is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon. Among the underlying reasons why sexual harassment occurs so frequently in these situations is that det organisational context and the prevailing culture is tolerant of sexual harassment and that gender-stereotypical and sexualised notions and expectations, as well as power and status differences, apply. The time has come to deal with this problem.

Educations, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Bachelor
Publication date24 May 2017
Number of pages46
SupervisorsKenneth Reinicke