Sexual harassment in anthropology

Science has a big article about a serious sexual harassment case in physical anthropology, which also includes discussion of a survey on sexual harassment recently conducted by anthropologists, and of the broader issues in science.


For years now, I’ve been asked (alternatively) why philosophy is so bad on sexual harassment, or whether philosophy is unusually bad.  I’ve always had to say we don’t really know whether it’s so bad.  And we don’t.  But when I talked to random people in other fields, they tended to think their fields weren’t like philosophy.  I always reminded both them and myself that most philosophers didn’t know about the problems in philosophy before What is it Like started.  We still don’t know relative rates of sexual harassment across different fields. But as more and more big cases break, philosophy looks less anomalous for having the cases that it does.


MAYBE, just maybe instead of being behind the times in tolerating harassment philosophy has actually been ahead of the times in bringing it to light.



One thought on “Sexual harassment in anthropology

  1. In my opinion Philosophy is way ahead in this. And anthropology, with field work a large and important part of training, there are many more opportunities for abuse and harassment. Large numbers of students and faculty, living in primitive conditions, lack of privacy, isolation from “civilization”, dependence on the mentor or archaeologist/anthropologist in charge…….the opportunities are endless. I have lived in many isolated field camps under primitive conditions……..oh my!

Comments are closed.