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Black women in the military: Prevalence, characteristics, & correlates of sexual harassment

APA Citation:

Breslin, R.A., Daniel, S., & Hylton, K. (2022). Black women in the military: Prevalence, characteristics, and correlates of sexual harassment. Public Administration Review, 82(3), 410-419. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13464

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined active-duty Black women’s experiences of sexual harassment (N = 6,417). More specifically, the prevalence of sexual harassment was investigated, as well as whether certain personal characteristics (e.g., age, rank, history of sexual assault/discrimination) and workplace factors (e.g., unit climate, hostile work environment, occupations in which Black women were more common) were associated with experiences of sexual harassment. Black women’s experiences of sexual harassment in the military appeared to be linked to a variety of demographic and workplace factors.


Physical health

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member


Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Secondary Analysis
Quantitative Study
Cross sectional study


Breslin, Rachel A., Daniel, Samantha, Hylton, Kimberly


Sexual harassment is a persistent problem in the workplace that warrants further attention in public administration research. Despite the fact that Black women are one of the largest subpopulations in the military, most studies of sexual harassment treat women as a homogenous group and results generally reflect the experiences of White women given their overrepresentation in samples. Using data from a large-scale and representative survey of military members, we find that nearly one in five Black women in the military (17.9%) experienced sexual harassment in 2018. Our findings further detail Black women's sexual harassment experiences and advance the discourse on the need to address sexual harassment in the workplace through an intersectional lens in order to design more inclusive prevention and response programs and policies. For example, inclusive programs should proactively account for the experiences of Black women in the design and evaluation of prevention and response efforts.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:


Publication Type:


Author Affiliation:

Office of People Analytics in the Department of Defense, RAB
Office of People Analytics in the Department of Defense, SD
Fors Marsh Group, KH


sexual harassment, black women, prevention

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  June 2022

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