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Weinstein case indicates ‘cultural shift’ in perception of abuse

Media Contact

Rachel Rhodes

Harvey Weinstein was found guilty on Monday for several criminal charges of sexual assault that included rape, though was found not guilty on other charges.

Vanessa Bohns

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior

Vanessa Bohns, associate professor of organizational behavior Cornell University’s ILR School, studies the psychology of compliance and consent. In her research, Bohns examines the dynamics of influence and power at play in the workplace.

Bohns says:

“Women often use friendliness as a means of defusing uncomfortable or threatening situations. The jurors’ decisions today suggesting that they found the testimonies of Mann and Haley to be credible might indicate that they understand that victims’ reactions to harassment and assault do not always fit stereotypical preconceptions that victims would aggressively fight off abusers.

“If there has been a cultural shift toward understanding that victims do not always behave the way we expect them to, then that is a huge step forward for the MeToo movement.”

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