Speed Reads

This is terrible

Two-thirds of scientists across 32 disciplines say they've been sexually harassed

A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE found that nearly two-thirds of field scientists surveyed across 32 disciplines had been sexually harassed in one form or another.

The study, initiated by Dr. Kate Clancy, a science writer and professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, surveyed 666 field scientists from 32 different disciplines. Most of the scientists surveyed worked in either anthropology or archaeology.

Clancy was moved to conduct this research after inviting guests to tell their harassment stories in her online column at Scientific American back in January 2012. When Clancy realized just how many scientists — including herself — had been subject to some form of harassment, she reached out to colleagues from Harvard University, Skidmore College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, to investigate.

While the study found that two-thirds of the 666 total scientists had been subject to sexual harassment, many more women than men reported being subject to such treatment. 71 percent of women reported experiencing harassment compared to just 41 percent of men, with harassment constituting inappropriate sexual remarks, sexist jokes, and more.

Additionally, one in five of the total pool reported being the victim of sexual assault. Again, more women reported being affected than men — 26 percent compared to just 6 percent.

Read the full study here.