Female Doctors Increasingly Harassed

A survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that more than one-third of female doctors age 30-70 have been sexually harassed, while close to half have suffered from gender-based harassment. Out of 4,501 women surveyed, 36.9% reported sexual harassment while 47.7% reported gender-based harassment stemming from being a female in a traditionally male environment.

Younger women doctors reported higher rates of sexual harassment than older ones. Researchers reported that sexual harassment is “primarily a manifestation of power, rather than sexual attraction.”

The survey results indicate an increase in harassment in medical schools. Janet Bickel of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington said, “Many of us hoped that the increasing numbers of women — now 42% in medical schools — and the fact that virtually all medical schools and hospitals now have sexual-harassment policies, which we could not say 10 years ago … would [cause the problem to] be going down faster. This shows that it’s still an issue.”


Los Angeles Times - February 23, 1998

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