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Science community rallies for better sexual harassment prevention

In recent months, the science community has been shocked by the sexual harassment allegations of one of its leading bloggers. The blogger, a writer for "Scientific American," was charged with sexual harassment by a number of women who felt he was acting inappropriately toward them. The whole incident (much of which was reported by numerous science-related publications) leads people in Texas and across the country to wonder if there is any field in which this type of discriminatory, unethical and unlawful behavior is not found.

Studies by science-minded individuals show that sexual harassment covers a wide range of fields. Polls and studies from around the globe, such as one reported in 2011, show that as many as 25 percent of women feel they have been victims of this kind of experience on the job, and an even higher percentage of females say they have been the victims of sexual harassment in public. Generally speaking, most of the studies that have been conducted focus on women because they are the ones who usually report such behavior, and because they are more likely than men to become victims.

It can be tough for women to voice their concerns about sexual harassment, but it's clear that they needn't stay silent. Those who do not speak up often experience symptoms that are akin to post-traumatic stress disorder: They often feel isolated, alienated and stressed out. This is one of the main reasons that anyone who feels he or she has been unfairly treated needs to come forward.

For those in Texas who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace by co-workers, clients or vendors, there are always measures they can take. They don't have to assume that they are merely taking "flirting" too seriously; if they feel they are being treated badly because of their gender, they have every right to bring attention to it. They can not only get justice for themselves, but for those who might also become victims if a harasser is allowed to go unchecked.

Source: International Business Times, Science Of Sexual Harassment: Consequences Known, But Effective Solutions Lacking, Roxanne Palmer, Oct. 18, 2013

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