Science Can Explain Why Some Men Harass Women On The Street, But It's Still Awful

by Imani Brammer

If you're a woman reading this right now, chances are, you have experienced some level of catcalling in your life.

According to a 2014 study conducted by Promundo, 65 percent of 2,000 women surveyed reported to have experienced street harassment of some sort.

It's an uncomfortable feeling, and it can fall anywhere on a spectrum from mild to downright degrading.

Turns out, according to a recent study, there may be some reasoning behind this behavior.

Before I dive in, let me be clear about something.

Catcalling Is Not Synonymous With Approaching A Woman

An approach is respectful, tactful, and has actual class.

A catcall, however, is what you do to a cat, literally. You beckon it with whistles and jeering sound effects. It's to be done to animals -- not women.

Now that that has been established, the Promundo study focused on understanding masculinity in middle eastern and North African countries. In this survey, researchers focused on the motivations behind catcalling from men.

“The report found that of the 4,830 men surveyed, 31 percent in Lebanon to 64 percent in Egypt admitted to having sexually harassed women and girls in public, from ogling to stalking to rape,” according to NPR.

When the men were asked why they sexually harass women, they responded that, apparently, it's “fun.”

The survey also found that, of the men who sexually harassed women (in Morocco and Egypt specifically), the young men who held a higher level of education were more likely to catcall women than those with little to no education.

Researchers speculate that this may be due to societal pressure, such as high unemployment rates, political instability, and pressure to supply their family's daily needs, according to NPR.

Half the men surveyed complained about stress, depression, and shame from not being able to provide for their families. The researchers believe that as a result of this, men take their frustration to the streets, where they can harass women with liberty.

Keep In Mind That These Are Only Speculations

At the end of the day, men anywhere and everywhere catcall, men anywhere feel pressured in one way or another, and men everywhere feel like crap about their lives, regardless of what part of the world they call home.

While the current study focused on middle eastern and North African countries, the West is certainly not immune to this type of disgusting behavior either.

ActionAid research from 2016 found that 75 percent of women in the U.K. have experienced some type of street harassment or violence. And in the US, a 2014 study showed that, of 2,000 women surveyed, 65 percent of them said they've dealt with street harassment, as well.

In no way should pressure from your life result in you degrading someone else's life, no matter who you are or where you are. Everyone is responsible for their own actions in this life.

No matter the amount of schooling you have, the amount of responsibility you withhold, or how fun you think something is, nothing permits you to be an assh*le to others.