Sexual harrassment

Ellen R. Spertus erspert at athena.mit.edu
Wed Oct 28 13:50:24 EST 1992


In article <1ci36eINNrno at gazette.bcm.tmc.edu> ah690549 at mbcr.bcm.tmc.edu (Annette C. Hollmann) writes:
>I think that at the undergraduate and graduate levels, sexual harrassment
>is quite rare. 

I was surprised by this.  It contradicts the studies I have seen.
Here is an excerpt from a report I wrote:

    \section{Sexual Harassment}
    Because I take it for granted that readers consider sexual harassment
    to be offensive and harmful, I am writing little on the subject.  It
    remains, however a serious problem.  A recent survey of Harvard
    students and faculty revealed:
    \begin{quote}
    Thirty-two percent of the tenured female professors, 49 percent of
    those without tenure, 41 percent of the female graduate students, and
    34 percent of the undergraduate women reported having been sexually
    harassed by a person in authority at least once during their time at
    Harvard.  Fifteen percent of the graduate students and twelve percent
    of the undergraduates reporting harassment consequently changed their
    academic plans because of it.  Most did not report the
    incidents \cite[page 115--116]{sim:aca}.
    \end{quote}
    Other studies, such as \cite{bak:inf} find even higher percentages of
    women sexually harassed.  See also \cite{gro:fem}, an account of the
    hostile environment for women at Stanford Medical School, which was
    recently called to attention by the resignation of a female
    neurosurgeon.

The references are:

    \bibitem[Baker 1990]{bak:inf} Baker, Douglas D., David E.~Terpstra,
    and Kinley Larantz.  ``The Influence of Individual Characteristics and
    Severity of Harassing Behavior on Reactions to Sexual Harassment.''
    {\it Sex Roles: A Journal of Research},  {\bf 5/6} (1990) 305 -- 325.
    {\small Results of a survey of individuals' reactions to different
    sexual harassment scenarios, finding differences in response to be
    partly based on sex.  Contains a good bibliography on sexual
    harassment.}

    \bibitem[Gross 1991]{gro:fem} Gross, Jane.  ``Female Surgeon's
    Quitting Touches Nerves at Medical School.''  {\it The New York
    Times}, July 14, 1991, page 10.  {\small A report on the sexism at
    Stanford Medical School which caused a female neurosurgeon to resign.}

    \bibitem[Simeone 1987]{sim:aca} Simeone, Angela.  {\it Academic Women:
    Working Towards Equality}.  Massachusetts: Bergin \& Garvey
    Publishers, Inc., 1987.  {\small A good overview of the situation for
    female graduate students and faculty.}

If you have seen studies that report otherwise, I would be interested
in hearing about them.  

					Ellen Spertus



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