Right now the world is going through a backlash against sexually exploitative and domineering behaviour. You have all read the stories in the media about men in positions of power who used that power to dominate others.

All this raises a fascinating question – can you identify whether a particular individual is likely to act in this way if they achieve power? Yes, you can. Over the decades multiple studies have been conducted into the “Likelihood to sexually harass” (LSH).

A number of psychological markers have been found to indicate LSH, one of the most powerful of which is the Honesty/Humility scale of the HEXACO personality inventory (Lee et al, 2003). This scale measures the degree to which a person is likely to be honest and truthful. It also measures whether the person is free of the trait of arrogance.

It turns out that people who score low on this scale are significantly more likely to undertake negative and dishonest behaviour, including being more likely to sexually harass. Sexual harassers therefore tend to be less honest and sincere than average and more arrogant than others. This combination is a powerful risk profile for those around them, particularly if the person ends up in a position of power.

Testing prospective employees on the Honesty/Humility scale of the HEXACO will reduce your risks of negative behaviours including sexual harassment. Click here to find out how.

Andrew Marty
Managing Director
SACS Consulting

Lee, Kibeom & Gizzarone, Marie & Ashton, Michael. (2003). Personality and the Likelihood to Sexually Harass. Sex Roles. 49. 59-69. 10.1023/A:1023961603479.