American Historical Association report reveals harassment and demeaning behavior at its meetings

Historians in the News
tags: AHA, harassment

Related Link Do Historians Have a Sexual Harassment Problem? By Rick Shenkman

The American Historical Association has released a summary of a survey it conducted of those who have attended its annual meeting over any of the last five years. The association found significant minorities of its members reported that they had experienced demeaning or insulting behavior. And a small minority (but one that the association summary says is still of concern) experienced harassment of various types.

The seriousness of the issue in the field of history was illustrated in June, when a historian tweeted about how a female attendee at the meeting of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations was too drunk to give consent, and how he followed her and a male attendee back to her room. The other male attendee expected to be able to do whatever he wanted to the woman. The scholar who shared the story reported that his intervention prevented that from happening -- and many who read his account said that far too many women are assaulted in various ways at scholarly meetings.

The AHA based its survey (with permission) on one by the American Political Science Association that found similar results.

Here are the findings that the AHA released, which featured answers from 1,656 people about their experiences at the meetings.

● Nearly 28 percent said they were "put down or condescended to" at least once.

● Almost 15 percent had "heard sexist comments uttered in their presence."

● 10 percent had been "the object of behavior that made them uncomfortable, such as leering, staring or ogling."

● 5 percent of the total reported receiving "unwanted attempts to establish a romantic or sexual relationship at least once."

● Slightly more than 1.25 percent had felt "bribed to engage in sexual behavior with some sort of reward or special treatment."

● Nearly 1 percent reported being threatened with retaliation for not being “sexually cooperative."

● 5 percent had experienced being "touched in a way that made them uncomfortable."

Read entire article at Inside Higher Ed

comments powered by Disqus