Survey Finds Sexual Harassment in Anthropology

Fieldwork is a rite of passage for anthropologists. It gives the initiate firsthand knowledge of a culture, along with a feeling of camaraderie with colleagues, often in remote and rugged locations. But for women there is also a dark side—a risk of sexual harassment and rape, according to a survey of fieldwork experiences released today.

Anthropologist Kathryn Clancy, who authored the study, found a disturbingly high incidence of physical sexual harassment among respondents: More than 20% of female bioanthropologists who took part said that they had experienced” physical sexual harassment or unwanted sexual contact.” Most of these victims are female, and most of the perpetrators were colleagues of superior professional status, sometimes the victim’s own fieldwork mentor.

Read the Science article.

Read the Scientific American blog post by Kathryn Clancy about her study.