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posted by janrinok on Monday September 22 2014, @04:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the ashamed dept.

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?

 
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Monday September 22 2014, @01:38PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday September 22 2014, @01:38PM (#96747)

    Men hit on women. This behavior will continue, until the day that it ceases getting results.

    And the point is that while the man and woman in question are together primarily because they're working together, the only result they should get is reprimands, discipline, and eventually firing if it continues.

    The line isn't that complicated: At work, you call women by their names, and talk to them mostly about work. If it drifts away from work, there are many topics which have nothing to do with her appearance or sexual desirability. If you wouldn't be comfortable discussing the topic at hand with a nice little old lady you just met, then it is probably not an appropriate conversation for work. And yes, that means you don't call your female colleagues "honey" unless you have some sort of outside-of-work relationship that would make that appropriate (e.g. she's your niece).

    If you want to hit on somebody, go to some place where women are (a) not required to be there in order to financially survive, and (b) have the viable option to leave at any time. And if she doesn't react favorably to your first hints, then back off.

    In my experience, the line is only fuzzy when somebody wants to cross it or doesn't know how to keep thoughts to themselves when appropriate.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
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