Discrimination and Harassment

What is gender discrimination?

Any act that either in form or operation, and whether intended or unintended, unreasonably discriminates among individuals on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, gender, perceived gender, and gender identity.

The following are some examples of acts that may be considered discriminatory on the basis of sex or gender if they are not justified by business necessity or a legitimate non-discriminatory reason:

  • Neutral policies that negatively impact safe access to restroom facilities for some individuals or groups
  • A practice of promoting one gender or sex over other individuals (intentionally or unintentionally)
  • Treating individuals or groups differently due to stereotypical expectations of gender or sex roles
  • Failing to hire or promote individuals due to pregnancy status
  • Failing to provide equitable meaningful opportunities for participation in athletics between genders
  • Excluding a person from a program or activity based on pregnancy

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex. The University of Oregon does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sex including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, gender-based stalking and bullying, and other forms of harassment.

Sexual harassment is written, verbal, physical, and/or visual conduct of a sexual nature that undermines, blocks, impedes, prevents, or prohibits equal access of another to the university’s educational, living, and working environment and resources.

The following are some examples of conduct that may be considered sexual harassment if unwelcome and either severe, or persistent or pervasive:

  • Unwanted requests for sexual favors
  • Deliberate unwelcome touching that is sexual in nature
  • Unwanted and persistent sexual looks or gestures, comments
  • Unwanted letters, telephone calls, texts, emails, or contact through social media of a sexual nature
  • Unwanted and persistent pressure for dates
  • Repeatedly leaving unwanted gifts, cards, and letters
  • Unwanted sexual joking, teasing, remarks, or questions
  • Whistling, leering, cat calls, kissing sounds
  • Displays of materials, posters, video, or audio recordings of a sexual nature that do not have a research or pedagogical reason for display
  • Asking someone about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history or talking to someone about yours
  • Telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s sex life
  • Unwelcome and unwanted hugging, kissing, patting, stroking, or massages
  • Rubbing oneself sexually around another person; exposing ones genitals
  • Repeatedly contacting or following someone either physically or through electronic means to demonstrate or make romantic or sexual overtures, including repeatedly asking someone out against their wishes, that causes the person to fear for their safety
  • Allowing other individuals to observe private sexual activity from a hidden location (e.g. closet) or through electronic means (e.g. FaceTime, Snapchat, Skype, or live-streaming images) without consent of the participant(s)
  • Watching private sexual activity without the consent of the participants or viewing another person’s intimate parts in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy
  • Written, verbal, or electronic statements that disparage a person based on a perceived lack of stereotypical masculinity or femininity or perceived sexual orientation
  • Recording, photographing, disseminating, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts
  • Stalking

The following are examples of sexual assault or sexual violence:

  • Unwelcome or unwanted sexual activity or touching
  • Causing another to engage in involuntary sexual acts
  • Engaging in sexual relations or sexual activity without the consent of the other person
  • Sexual activity that occurs under force or threat of force or coercion
  • Sexual abuse or the threat of sexual abuse
  • Physical violence that occurs between individuals in a dating relationship
  • Physical violence that occurs between individuals within the same household or who are related to one another or share a child
  • Within a dating or domestic relationship, attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury
  • Within a dating or domestic relationship, intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury
  • Causing the incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purposes of compromising that person’s ability to give consent to the alleged sexual activity

For more information please visit the Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity.