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Sexual harassment amongst undergraduate women of science is a prominent issue, gaining much media attention. The goal of this study is to determine if, and how, major sexual harassment cases impact women pursuing science-related careers, and what the sexual harassment climate is like for these individuals. The study will examine prevalence of harassment, common types of sexual misconduct, perpetrators, and severity through an anonymous survey. Additionally, this study will look into the effects of the Nassar and Strampel cases regarding desire to report harassment, and students’ fear of experiencing harassment in their future educations and careers. It is hypothesized that women with a higher prevalence and severity of sexual harassment will have a greater desire to report harassment, and be more fearful of experiencing sexual misconduct. The results concluded that out of 175 women who were surveyed, 71 had experienced some form of sexual harassment. Of the women who were sexually harassed, most had experienced verbal harassment. The most common perpetrator was a stranger, with harassment occurring between two and six times. The only statistically relevant difference within the Nassar and Strampel questions was that women who experienced sexual harassment were less likely to report harassment after learning about these cases. This data provides information that sexual harassment is a major issue amongst undergraduate women of science, and that major sexual harassment cases may cause women to be less-likely to report. Going forward, the question of how to prevent sexual harassment, and how to encourage women to report harassment, arises.
Ryan, Kathleen, "Sexual Harassment of Biology and Biomedical Sciences Undergraduates: A Study on the effects of Larry Nassar and William Strampel" (2018). Honors Theses. 3128.
Honors Thesis-Open Access