1. According to the United Nations (UN) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature” that can include unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other “verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” (UN Women, n.d.). Under their definitions there is no differentiation on whether this is only applicable to a work environment or universally applicable in any situation that it is encountered. Accordingly, there is no reason that there should be a different standard of behavior between the workplace or personal relationships; sexual harassment is the same wherever it is discovered.
2. As mentioned, one common excepted definition is the one as described above. It provides clear guidelines for a court to employ in the determination of whether sexual harassment has indeed occurred. One of the key points, however, is that the law seems to look at the act from the perspective of the victim. To be sure, if the victim deems the conduct unwanted and has evidence to prove that it was, then the analysis must start from that rather than from whether the alleged perpetrator feels that it was under their culturally understanding that the conduct was allowed.
3. Naturally, the fact that in this particular case the award was so large it will naturally attract some people to falsely claim that they were sexually harassed. However, that does not mean that when a case is as egregious as this one, that a jury should not award the victim the amount that they feel properly punishes the perpetrator and also provides a warning to any would-be perpetrators that they should not contemplate committing sexual harassment. Whether a clam is false or not, society must have faith in the American adversarial process to find and eliminate those frivolous claims.
United Nations Women (UN Women). (n.d.). What is sexual harassment? Retrieved from www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf