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Sexual harassment in the workplace plagues science fields

When you think of medical professions and scientists, you probably don't think of fields in which sexual harassment might be running rampant. Sadly, people in those fields do have to deal with sexual harassment at an alarming rate. The instance of sexual harassment is especially high among trainees.

Some female trainees say they have very few methods to handle sexual harassment. Some feel as though they are being targeted to be harassed. The sexual harassment isn't always in the form of sexual advances. In some cases, the sexual harassment was in the form of jokes and remarks. In some cases, there were physical contacts reported.

More than 70 percent of men and 90 percent of women say in a survey they experienced sexual abuse while they were employees or trainees. Some of those were still in high school. That survey was done on 516 women and 142 men.

One area in which there seems to be a lot of trouble is in field training. Many of the female researchers surveyed said that someone in a superior rank was the source of the sexual harassment. Males, however, said they were more likely to be harassed by peers.

No matter whether the victim was male or female, taking a stand against the harassment can prove to be difficult. Think about how hard it would be as a trainee to report a superior for sexual harassment. Having someone on your side who can stand by you and who knows California laws as you make your complaints might help you to stand up against your harasser.

Source: Medical Daily, "For Women In Science, Sexual Harassment And Assault Are Commonplace: 'Some Field Sites Are Not Safe, Nor Inclusive'" Samantha Olson, Dec. 23, 2014

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