Margie Yu
Public Affairs Spec.
(323) 343-3047


of Events

Results of Office Sex and Romance Survey
by Cal State L.A. Professor Released

“According to a new ELLE/MSNBC survey of over 30,000 people, nine in 10 would consider dating someone from work, and nearly half admit to engaging in some type of sexual tryst on the job. Flirting appears to have overtaken long lunches as the No. 1 workplace diversion,” writes Charlene Laino of MSNBC.

Posted on the ELLE.com and MSNBC.com sites now are some of the findings from the Office Sex and Romance Survey, authored by Janet Lever, professor of sociology at California State University, Los Angeles. An expanded coverage of the survey results will be featured in the June issue of Elle magazine. Lever intends to use this rich database—which also includes over 7,000 “stories” written by respondents who wanted to share more of their experiences—for more rigorous analysis and academic publications in the fields of management, human resources, and sexual studies.

The survey, based on Lever’s sabbatical research on the consequences of workplace romances, debuted on both sites—ELLE.com and the health cover page of MSNBC.com—on January 15, 2002. The click-and-tell survey is the first comprehensive look at sex and romance in the workplace, says Lever. ELLE.com and MSNBC.com users age 18 and older were invited, from mid-January through the end of February, to answer a detailed questionnaire about “who’s flirting and sleeping with whom; where they’re doing it; and what they got out of it, good or bad.” Lever adds that the 44-item survey included many more serious questions about the sexual climate at work that will allow her to draw conclusions about whether sexuality is more of a burden or asset on the job, especially for women.

This is the fourth mass media survey written and analyzed by Lever, who coauthored Glamour magazine’s “Sex and Health” column from 1991 through 1998.

Lever, who received her Ph.D. from Yale University, specializes in gender studies, leisure studies, applied sociology, and the social consequences of human sexuality. She joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1990. She is an adjunct staff member at RAND in Santa Monica, California, where she researches and writes on sex and health policy issues. Over the past 30 years, Lever has taught sociology at Yale, Northwestern, UCLA, UC San Diego, USC and Cal State L.A. She has been interviewed by CBS on “paraparenting” (formerly known as godparenting) and by NBC Dateline on “bisexual chic.”


ATT. MEDIA: Janet Lever will talk about the survey results at a Faculty Colloquium on TUESDAY, MAY 14, 12:15-1:30 p.m. in Cal State L.A.’s University-Student Union, Alhambra Room B. Call (323) 343-3044.


# # #