This is the first in a series of reports about sexual misconduct and harassment.
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A new poll finds that Americans are much more likely than in the past to be worried about sexual violence, even though it’s not as common in workplaces as they were decades ago.
A CBS News/New York Times poll found that 61 percent of respondents have at least some concern about sexual assault, and 55 percent say they have a “very” or “some” concern about it.
In the survey conducted from July 15-18, 56 percent of adults say that sexual harassment is a serious problem, while 45 percent say it’s somewhat or very serious.
This is a major change from two decades ago, when 58 percent of the respondents had at least a “somewhat” or a “fairly” serious concern about harassment.
Among Americans, 62 percent say that they have experienced sexual harassment, compared with 56 percent in the poll taken last year.
In fact, the survey found that while nearly two-thirds of respondents said that they were personally aware of sexual harassment in their workplace, that number had dropped to 44 percent in 2017.
Among Republicans, only 28 percent said they had been sexually harassed, compared to 50 percent of Democrats.
A poll released earlier this month by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 77 percent of American workers say that some form of sexual misconduct is “very likely.”
About a quarter of them say it “very or somewhat likely.”
That figure jumps to 35 percent among those who say they are “very uncomfortable” with it.
The survey also found that one in five Americans believe that sexual assault is not as serious as it used to be.
“We are seeing a decline in the number of people saying that sexual violence is a very serious problem in the workplace, and we are seeing that a lot of people are starting to talk about it,” said Dr. Mark Zandi, senior vice president and senior director for research at the Kaiser Foundation.
“What we know is that when you ask people about the seriousness of the problem, they are more likely to say it is not that serious.
And so the question becomes, if it’s that serious, then what is the solution?”
The survey was conducted between June 26 and July 7.