It has been revealed that male middle-ranking managerial officials in their 40s with college graduate-level educations or better are the biggest sexual harassment offenders. More than 30 percent of sexual harassment cases take place when co-workers dine together, and physical sexual harassment cases (56.2 percent) surpass verbal sexual harassment ones (36.3 percent).

The analysis of sexual harassment was the first of its kind in Korea. The Gender Discrimination Improvement Committee under the Ministry of Gender Equality released statistical data Wednesday to mark the 5th year of the enactment of the law on the prohibition and compensation of gender discrimination, which defines sexual harassment as a type of gender discrimination.

According to the Ministry of Gender Equality, a total of 995 gender discrimination cases have been reported for the past five years. Of them, sexual harassment cases accounted for 51.5 percent and other types of gender discrimination cases represented 48.5 percent.

The most frequent sexual harassment offenders are middle-ranking managerial officials (34.1 percent) or company owners (29.9 percent) in their 40s (38.1 percent) with education above the college level (77.9 percent.) In other words, superiors, in using their power at workplaces, committed the most sexual harassment cases.

More sexual harassment cases take place in private companies (56.8 percent) than public agencies (8.3 percent.) Small-sized companies with less than 100 employees are the most frequent scenes of sexual harassment, (71.3 percent) followed by educational organizations (15.9 percent).

The Gender Discrimination Improvement Committee ordered offenders of 51 cases to pay damages. Of them, the largest compensation was W12 million, paid by a dentist who sexually harassed a female nurse by frequently making sexual remarks and showing her photos of naked men.

Reported cases of gender discrimination are on the rise, indicating that an increasing number of victimized women are actively seeking solutions. One hundred and five gender discrimination cases have been reported in the first half of 2004, an increase from 152 cases in 2003 and 136 cases in 2002.

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