A survey of Montgomery County employes released yesterday showed that 14.1 percent of the respondents said they had experienced sexual harassment that ranged from leering glances to, in two instances, rape.
The survey was conducted by the county's Commission for Women, the Human Relations Commission and the personnel office. Responses were received on 1,741 of 8,000 questionnaires sent to county workers last March, the survey said, and 251 said that they had been sexually harassed.
The 14.1 percent figure is lower than a similar survey of state employes, which showed that 44.3 percent of those responding had been harassed, the survey said. County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist, who requested the study, was encouraged by its findings, but added, "I find it outrageous that any county employe is subjected to this kind of behavior."
Sexual harassment was defined as an action that interfered with one's employment or created a hostile or offensive working environment.
Some 199 employes said that "leering" was the form of harassment they experienced most.
The survey found that coworkers, rather than supervisors, were the most frequent offenders. About 20 percent of those who said they were harassed are men. The group suffering the most harassment were unmarried women under 36, the survey said.
Responses of some sort, such as reporting the case to supervisors, were found to be more effective in combating the problem than ignoring it, the survey concluded.