Intersection Theory: A More Elucidating Paradigm of Quantitative Analysis

Document Type


Publication Date



Intersection theory, a theoretical paradigm which calls attention to the interlocking forces of race, class, and gender, among other master status characteristics, is used to predict that respondents report having been targeted for sexual harassment under circumstances that are quite different from one demographic group to another. Sexual harassment is interpreted as primarily a power relation such that workers in less powerful positions are expected to be more vulnerable to targeting. This study may be distinguished from most studies utilizing intersection theory as a theoretical paradigm because it is a quantitative analysis of a broad, national set of data, the General Social Survey, rather than qualitative analyses or a meta-analyses of existing studies. It is predicted that the results reported in general additive models of sexual harassment mask the experiences of race, class, and gender as an interlocking force which differentially shapes the experiences of men and women in the labor market and society overall. The findings reported illustrate that these patterns vary substantially by race and gender, which provides firm support for the usefulness of intersection theory as a theoretical paradigm of analysis which should be more often utilized to shape the modeling of quantitative analyses.


Race, Class and Gender





First Page


Last Page