The Impact of Thai Culture on Perceptions and Experiences of Sexual Harassment in Policing:
A Case Study of Female Police Officers in the Royal Thai Police
Many women face sexual harassment in the workplace, especially in the male-dominated workplace where the majority of employees are men. Many studies show that there are cultural norms that reward traditional masculine values and therefore women who work in the male-dominated workplace had been harassed by a senior male officer. This article examines whether female police officers in Thailand face sexual harassment in the workplace or not by using the Royal Thai Police (RTP) as a case study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to gather information on women’s experiences. Approximately 37 participants were interviewed including both retired and current officers. This research found that most participants did not face any physical sexual harassment. They also reported that verbal and physical harassment in the workplace was not perceived as a major problem. However, lack of reporting of sexual harassment does not necessarily mean that sexual harassment does not occur in the RTP. There are two reasons that why these participants reported that sexual harassment does not occur. The first reason is that Thai women do not discuss or talk about sexual harassment with other people. The second reason is that there is no clear definition of the term sexual harassment.
Keywords: Sexual harassment, culture constraint, female police officers in Thailand, policing, Thai culture