Margaret C. Hardy reports that the life sciences have recently come under fire with a study that investigated the level of sexual harassment and sexual assault of trainees in academic fieldwork environments and found that 71% of women and 41% of men respondents experienced sexual harassment, while 26% of women and 6% of men reported experiencing sexual assault. The research team also found that within the hierarchy of academic field sites surveyed, the majority of incidents were perpetrated by peers and supervisors. "More often it is the men of one’s own field team, one’s co-workers, who violate their female colleagues," writes A. Hope Jahren:
There is a fundamental and culturally learned power imbalance between men and women, and it follows us into the workplace. The violence born of this imbalance follows us also. We would like to believe that it stops short of following us into the laboratory and into the field — but it does not. I listen to my colleagues talk endlessly about recruiting more women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, and postulate what the barriers might be. Sexual assault is a pernicious and formidable barrier to women in science, partly because we have consistently gifted to it our silence. I have given it 18 years of my silence and I will not give it one day more.
Many of us work in fields related to this study - what are your experiences?
(Score: 1) by silverly on Monday September 22 2014, @04:37AM
In any situation that involve other people I feel that everyone should follow the number one rule.
> "Don't be an ass".
It sucks that life sciences/technology has this issue and there is never a reason when harassing someone is okay. Just follow rule one and you be okay.
(Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 22 2014, @05:37AM
> In any situation that involve other people I feel that everyone should follow the number one rule.
If only it worked that way. Very rarely are asses conscious of the fact that they are being asses. If you asked them, they would say they weren't being an ass and would blame their victim instead. Often they will say the woman was being an ass - too sensitive, up tight, uppity, etc. That is the nature of unearned privilege, when you think the status quo is not only normal, that it is right, then when challenged you'll blame the challenger rather than recognize your own responsibility.
(Score: 1) by silverly on Monday September 22 2014, @09:56AM
Such is the life of trying to follow rule one :(