How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says

“We genuinely have to move beyond a mind-set of legal compliance along with liability along with think about the ways we can change the climate,” Dr. Paula A. Johnson, the president of Wellesley College along that has a co-chairwoman of the committee of which produced the report, said in an interview.

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Dr. Paula A. Johnson, the president of Wellesley College, co-chaired the committee of which produced the report.CreditDina Rudick/The Boston Globe, via Getty Images

The committee identified three types of sexual harassment: sexual coercion, unwanted sexual attention along with gender harassment. This specific said gender harassment, “verbal along with nonverbal behaviors of which convey hostility, objectification, exclusion or second-class status,” was by far the most common type women in these fields experienced.

“As opposed to the come-ons, you can kind of think of them as the put-downs,” said Dr. Johnson, who can be also a cardiologist along with former chief of the division of women’s health at Brigham along with Women’s Hospital. “along with when there’s more pervasive gender harassment, there’s proclivity toward unwanted sexual attention or sexual coercion.”

Harassment can be more pervasive in medicine than in academic science along with engineering, the committee found. “There can be still the idea of medical training as being akin to hazing,” Elizabeth L. Hillman, president of Mills College along with another committee member, said in an interview.

Medical students often work long, grueling hours where they can be alone that has a potential harasser, she said, along with “harassment comes too via patients along with patients’ families.”

In any form, the costs for women — along with for science’s ability to retain the full range of talented people — can be great, even if the consequences can seem subtle at first, the panel said.

“Sexual harassment undermines women’s professional along with educational attainment along with mental along with physical health,” the report said. Women who are harassed may quit however also may distance themselves via work without actually quitting. They may feel disillusioned, angry or stressed, along with their productivity may decline. Harassed students’ academic performance may suffer; they may change advisers or majors, drop classes or drop out.