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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23 2014, @06:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23 2014, @06:07PM (#97276)

    In the American cinema I grew up with, "pressing the issue" seemed to be the ultimately successful way to "get the girl". Maybe this has something to do with the confusion, and resulting problems, about the best way to pursue romantic relationships in the workplace.

    I think the source of your confusion is that you are mistaking American cinema for real life. Much of what you see on the big screen is fiction. Even when the story is purported to be "based on a true story", the story line has often been finessed somewhat to make it more interesting for the viewing audience.

    A common response to these troubles, that one should avoid personal relationships with the opposite sex in favor of a purely "professional" relationship, seem to me to be administrative knee-jerks, instead of realistic solutions.

    If she wants to keep it professional, I'm afraid that you don't have much choice. Ignoring her wishes on the matter will likely earn you an uncomfortable meeting with the head of your company's HR Department. Of course, you could try to gamble that she will eventually come 'round, but in my experience that is not what is likely to happen.

    [...]left up to your best judgement

    Easier said than done, especially in romantic matters. But it will become easier with time, as the co-ed workplace matures.

    Yes, easier said than done, especially when it comes to romantic matters. On the other hand, I have my doubts that it will become easier as the co-ed workplace matures. The rules of the road are already being laid down now and it doesn't look good for those who want to romance where they work. Just sayin'.

    BTW, thank you for your service to the nation.