Sexual Harassment in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

SH Study


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An ad hoc committee under the oversight of Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) undertook a study of the influence of sexual harassment in academia on the career advancement of women in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce.
Please contact us at SHstudy@nas.edu or contact the study director, Frazier Benya.


FEATURED UPCOMING EVENT


Together we can do better
Together We Can Do Better: A Convening of Leaders in Academia to Prevent Sexual Harassment 
Friday, November 9, 2018 
 
View additional upcoming and past events...


NEWS


REPORT RELEASED

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018)

Over the last several years, revelations of sexual harassment experienced by women in workplace and in academic settings have raised urgent questions about the specific impact of this discriminatory behavior on women and the extent to which it is limiting their careers. Sexual Harassment of Women explores the influence of sexual harassment in academia on the career advancement of women in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce. This report reviews the research on the extent to which women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine experience sexual harassment and examines the existing information on the extent to which sexual harassment in academia negatively impacts the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women pursuing scientific, engineering, technical, and medical careers. It also identifies and analyzes the policies, strategies and practices that have been the most successful in preventing and addressing sexual harassment in academia.



MEDIA COVERAGE (view more media coverage)

The New York Times
How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says
"There is no evidence to suggest that current policies, procedures, and approaches have resulted in a significant reduction in sexual harassment," said the report, which was more than two years in the making, starting well before the #MeToo era...
 
The Washington Post
Half of women in science experience harassment, a sweeping new report finds
The solution will require a "systemwide change to the culture and climate in higher education," the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine conclude...
 
AP News
Sexual Harassment Rampant in Science, Culture Change Urged
...it’s time to treat sexual harassment as seriously as research misconduct, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded in recommendations aimed at U.S. institutions of higher education and the groups that fund them.
 
Science
Sexual harassment isn't just about sex: Groundbreaking report details persistent hostility female scientists face
Ask someone for an example of sexual harassment and they might cite a professor's insistent requests to a grad student for sex. But such lurid incidents account for only a small portion of a serious and widespread harassment problem in science...
 
Nature
Sexual harassment is rife in the sciences, finds landmark US study
Sexual harassment is pervasive throughout academic science in the United States, driving talented researchers out of the field and harming others' careers, finds a report from the US National Academies of Sciences.
 
HuffPost
Want To End Sexual Harassment? Landmark Study Finds Ousting ‘Bad Men’ Isn’t Enough
But a major study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine outlines a more comprehensive way of looking at sexual harassment within organizations...
 

VIDEOS


Recommendations Video
Recommendations Video
Statement from Marcia McNutt
Statement from Marcia McNutt
Discussion Recording
Discussion Recording
PROJECT SCOPE 

The study scope included the following: 

  • Review of the research on the extent to which women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine are victimized by sexual harassment on college and university campuses, in research labs and field sites; at hospitals/medical centers; and in other academic environments; 
  • Examination of existing information on the extent to which sexual harassment in academia negatively impacts the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women pursuing scientific, engineering, technical, and medical careers, with comparative evidence drawn from other sectors, such as the military, government, and the private sector. 
  • Identification and analysis of policies, strategies and practices that have been the most successful in preventing and addressing sexual harassment in these settings. 

For purposes of this study, the definition of sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature, as well as those situations in which the work or study environment is made intimidating or offensive as a result of actions that are gender-based and that interfere with an individual’s academic or work performance, opportunities for advancement, and morale. 


SPONSORS


NSF
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Henry Luce Foundation
HHMI
NASA
NIH
NIST
NOAA
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation