NCBI Bookshelf. While much of the research on sexual harassment has focused on workplaces outside academia, the research reviewed in this chapter suggests that academia should not be considered an exception and that it faces similar rates of sexual harassment. This analysis aims to shed light on the extent to which women experience sexual harassment in science, engineering, and medicine; compare experiences across different environments; and understand how the organizational makeup of these fields contributes to the risk for sexual harassment. This chapter reviews how academia and academic science, engineering, and medicine specifically are unique environments in terms of sexual harassment.
Women in Male-Dominated Industries and Occupations: Quick Take
Sexual Harassment: A Severe and Pervasive Problem
Many statutes around the world describe sexually harassment as conduct of a sexual nature which is unwanted or unwelcome and which has the purpose or effect of being intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive. Sexual harassment in Australia is also covered by state based anti-discrimination legislation. Legislation also frequently refers to vicarious liability, whereby organisations may be held liable unless they can establish they took all reasonable steps to prevent the conduct or that they promptly corrected the behaviour after it became evident. Sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour as physical contact and advances, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography and sexual demand, whether by words or actions. Such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem; it is discriminatory when the woman has reasonable grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment, including recruitment or promotion, or when it creates a hostile working environment.
Women Report Sexual Harassment More than Men, Even in Male-Dominated Workplaces
When it comes to data about sexual harassment in the workplace, more is better. In order to have a better chance at eliminating workplace harassment, a greater amount of nuanced information is needed to understand the role of gender in relation to the type of setting in which sexual harassment is reported. In the era of the MeToo movement, this data is more imperative than ever—although much of it may seem unsurprising. The EEOC also found that about 70 percent of sexual harassment cases are not reported, meaning that the 10, filings are only a fraction of the true amount of sexual harassment instances.
Causes of Sexual Harassment. In order to understand why women endure the vast majority of sexual harassment, it is important to look at some of the underlying causes of this phenomenon. Violence and Male Self-Perception. The relationship between the sexes in many countries around the world includes a considerable amount of violence against women.