It’s an unfortunate reality that far too many women still face sexual harassment on a daily basis—whether in the workplace or just walking down the street. And even though movements like Time’s Up and #MeToo have shed a much-needed light on the issue, a new study shows that most men have no idea how many women have been sexually harassed.
The Ipsos Mori 2018’s Perils of Perception Survey, released on December 5th, examined common misconceptions about issues like violence, sex, and climate change in 37 countries around the world. According to the survey results, on average, men guessed that 39% of women have experienced sexual harassment, but in reality, 60% of women had. In the U.S. specifically, men believed that only 44% of women have been harassed, although the actual number is 81%.
To be fair, women didn’t know how common sexual harassment was, either. On average, female respondents from all 13 countries estimated that 44% have been harassed; women in the U.S. guessed 59%.
Respondents in Denmark had the biggest discrepancies between their guesses and reality, followed by those in the Netherlands, France, and the U.S. The Guardian points out that Ipsos Mori’s survey was conducted right after Christine Blasey Ford testified before Congress, and also about a year after the #MeToo movement began (meaning the discrepancies between perception and reality might have been even greater in years past).
These findings show just how critical it is to continue shining a light on harassment and assault. Because victims have suffered in silence for far too long.