The list of alleged sexual harassers keeps getting longer and the details of sexual assault and harassment ever more disturbing. The torrent of cases pouring out in news reports and Twitter — tales of men grabbing women, emerging naked from showers uninvited, threatening women’s careers, or worse — raises a horrified question: What makes these men behave this way?
Sure, some of the behavior can be chalked up to boorish personalities or outright misogyny. But how much of the behavior is driven by the man himself and how much by the culture around him? What exactly makes one man more likely to harass than another? And what is going on inside their heads when they make unwanted advances?
These are questions that social scientists and psychologists have puzzled over in recent years. And their growing body of research has yielded interesting and at times provocative answers, which are especially relevant in this cultural moment.
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