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February 12, 1992

Harassment Hinders Women's Care and Careers

JAMA. 1992;267(6):778-783. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480060020005

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT cases often boil down to the wholly unscientific matter of one person's word against another's.

In the medical sphere, allegations of sexual misconduct are increasingly being discussed, and not only because such allegations during the Senate confirmation process for US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas riveted the nation's attention. AMA is sponsoring a "Sexual Harassment in the Medical Workplace" seminar in Los Angeles February 14.

Some women's health advocates contend that sexual harassment contributes to an environment in which neither the needs of female patients nor the work of female physicians and researchers are taken as seriously as those of men.

With sex bias in the clinical treatment of female patients now well documented (JAMA. 1991;266:559-562 and N Engl J Med. 1991;325:221-225), many steps are beginning to be taken to redress such inequities, especially in research (JAMA 1992;267:469-473, 482).

Some efforts aim at increasing the numbers and status