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Sexual harassment a problem in the science field

Although many people in Texas would like to think that sexual harassment will eventually be a thing of the past, new research shows that it remains a real problem. This appears to be particularly true in the science field, where woman are sexually harassed or assaulted while doing research. Most of these sexual harassment acts take place at the hands of the female employees’ supervisors, according to the research.

Researchers focused on more than 100 men and over 500 women who have experience in scientific disciplines such as geology, archaeology and anthropology. More than 60 percent of the survey respondents said they experienced harassment. Meanwhile, 20 percent claimed to be sexual assault victims.

Younger women, especially, appear to be at-risk in this industry in terms of being targeted for sexual abuse. Many women also said they felt they didn’t have many avenues for reporting or resolving these issues. The problem is that many science field sites are viewed as safe or non-inclusive by female scientists, the study concluded.

A major concern among researchers is that this situation will actually drive women from the field of science. When workers in Texas are taken advantage of sexually by their employers, they have the right to fight this injustice via the civil court system. It helps to thoroughly understand what proof must be presented in order to prevail in a sexual harassment claim in our state. A successful outcome may lead to back pay, compensation for emotional harm or other remedies, based on the specific facts of the case.

Source: The Washington Post, "Study: Young female scientists face sexual harassment, assault while in the field", Caelainn Hogan, July 17, 2014

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