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Sexual Harassment

What is sexual harassment?

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic performance or creating an intimidating or hostile academic or student living environment.

Determining what constitutes sexual harassment depends on the specific facts and context in which the conduct occurs. Sexual harassment may take many forms: subtle and indirect or blatant and overt. For example, it may:

  • Be conduct toward an individual of the opposite sex or the same sex

  • Occur between peers or between individuals in a hierarchical relationship

  • Be aimed at coercing an individual to participate in an unwanted sexual relationship or have the effect of causing an individual to change behavior

  • Consist of repeated actions or may even arise from a single incident if sufficiently egregious

Whether the unwanted sexual conduct rises to the level of creating an intimidating or hostile environment is determined using both a subjective standard and an objective standard.

Learn more about the effects of sexual harassment and about myths and misconceptions



Stanford University strives to provide a place of work and study free of sexual harassment, intimidation or exploitation.

The SHARE Title IX Office handles all university reports and concerns regarding sexual harassment. Where sexual harassment is found to have occurred, the University will act to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and discipline and/or take other appropriate action against those responsible.

If you believe you are being sexually harassed, or know someone who is, you should act promptly. It is in the best interests of everyone involved to correct the situation immediately. Ignoring the situation and hoping that it will correct itself may result in the continuation or escalation of the harassing behavior. You can contact the SHARE Title IX Office to speak to someone familiar who is with the issues and the best ways to respond.

If you are concerned about the possibility of retaliation, (particularly if the harasser is in a position of power such as a supervisor, professor, etc.) please know that Stanford does not allow reprisals against a person who in good faith reports or provides information about sexual harassment or behavior that might constitute sexual harassment.

For more information about the SHARE Title IX Office or to contact a SHARE Title IX staff member, email titleix@stanford.edu or call (650) 497-4955.