Sexual Harassment and Assault During Field Research

Sexual Harassment and Assault During Field Research

By Stacey L. Hunt, Auburn University

Political scientists have recently taken great strides to expose and address sexual harassment and assault in our academic departments and professional conferences. Little has been said, however, of the sexual violence and discrimination that political scientists confront during field research. Female field researchers may encounter a number of power disparities that put them at acute risk for sexual violence during fieldwork, and evidence suggests that experiences of sexual misconduct in the field are both pervasive and professionally devastating. This article challenges the discipline to break its silence on sexual violence during fieldwork, remove the stigma of incompetency assigned to survivors, and support field researchers in confronting sexual harassment and assault in the field.

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