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Perceived Coverage of “Human Trafficking” Pales Compared to that of “Sexual Harassment”


Coverage of “sexual harassment” is more likely to be perceived as exaggerated when compared to that for “human trafficking”

The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Mount Saint Vincent seeks to foster meaningful dialog on key public policy issues through independent, objective public opinion research. This survey focuses on social issues in the United States.

When compared to “human trafficking,” “sexual harassment” coverage is more likely to be perceived as exaggerated. The majority of respondents (58%) believe that the issue is accurately covered or understated.

What is of much more social significance is the perceived gross under coverage of “human trafficking.” The majority of respondents feel that “human trafficking” is understated. This suggests that more attention and focus is needed for this critical social issue.

Graphic titled "Perceived coverage of social issues"

Perceptions of “sexual harassment” differ greatly by gender. Women are much less likely to feel that coverage is exaggerated than men. However, women and men have similar perceptions on coverage for “human trafficking.”

Graphic titled "Perceived coverage of social issues %"

The fact that men and women differ in their perceptions of “sexual harassment” but not “human trafficking” may reflect the more immediate threat that charges of “sexual harassment” pose to men. Additionally, “human trafficking” is not covered as much and also is perceived to be less prevalent.

About the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy
The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research opened in February 2015 at the University of Mount Saint Vincent. The Center conducts in depth studies of public opinion on key public policy concerns through independent and objective research.

By providing a forum for discourse that can stimulate intelligent dialog about issues that deeply affect all Americans, the Center illustrates and enhances the relationship between the work of the College and the common good.

James F. Donius, Ph.D., director of the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Mount Saint Vincent, is available to speak to members of the press about the survey, the Fishlinger Optimism Index™, and the Center. To arrange an interview, or for more information about the study, please contact Public Relations at

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.