Sexual harassment and universities

By | 22nd December 2017

When you have worked in the academic business for a long time, you remember moral panics from previous times around. Sexual harassment is one such….Nevertheless, we are confronted with claims about the ‘discovery’ of this behaviour as a new social problem. Developing an effective response, however, may require us to consider questions about institutional memory, occupational cultures, and organizational silos, rather than badly behaved individuals. This problem has a history… The presumption against intimate relationships between doctors and their patients does not mean that no doctor ever has sex with a patient. That presumption does, though, set a benchmark against which judgements can be made and careers can be broken. Current concerns remind us of the importance of institutional memory and the continued reaffirmation of our professional ethic, of developing a consistent approach to malpractice, and of recognizing the bargain between universities and their host societies that underpins our privileges. Sexual relations between faculty and students or untenured colleagues are not an occupational entitlement or fringe benefit.

A Sage socialsciencespace blog

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