Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 577–588 | Cite as

Interactions Between Direct and Structural Violence in Sexual Harassment Against Spanish and Unauthorized Migrant Women

  • Pilar Rodríguez-MartínezEmail author
  • Cristina Cuenca-Piqueras
Original Paper


This article analyzes the intersection of direct and indirect violence against Spanish women and unauthorized migrant women working in precarious jobs in Almeria (Spain). Specifically, it seeks to understand how unauthorized migrant women define violence, the relationship between sexual harassment and other types of direct violence (such as intimate partner violence), and structural, legal, and cultural violence. To do this, we apply a multilevel intersectional analysis focusing on 32 interviews with Spanish and unauthorized migrant women. Three levels of intersectionality are shown. In the first, the interviewees do not label verbal abuse as sexual harassment. They attribute the abuse to their work. In the second, sexual harassment seems to be tied to “respect” and not “love,” which explains why sexual harassment has less devastating consequences for women than intimate partner violence. In the third, experiences of sexual harassment differ between Spanish women and unauthorized migrant women, and a combination of sexual harassment and xenophobic and racist behavior occasionally appeared.


Intersectional analysis Sexual harassment Structural violence Unauthorized migrant women Domestic work Sex work 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pilar Rodríguez-Martínez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristina Cuenca-Piqueras
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Historia, Georgafia y HumanidadesUniversity of AlmeriaAlmeríaSpain

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