In academic environments where sexual harassment is rampant, existing university policies protect institutions instead of women, who face significant barriers to pursuing careers in science, technology, and medicine.
Tuesday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a landmark 285-page report noting that a system wide change to the culture and climate of higher education is necessary in order to effectively combat sexual harassment. The newly released report cited data from a University of Texas survey that found 20 percent of women studying science experienced sexual harassment from their peers and professors. More than a quarter of women studying engineering and more than 40 percent of women studying medicine experienced sexual harassment.
“There’s strong research that shows, even when people have certain attitudes or proclivities to the sexually harassed, if you establish the right culture that will inhibit them from acting on those attitudes” said Lilia Cortina, a professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Michigan, during a press conference held alongside the release of the report.
In addition to compromising the safety and wellbeing of their students to protect themselves against any risk and liability associated with sexual harassment on campus, universities have also not rigorously pursued inclusivity and diversity, the report found.
Read the full article at Vice.