Impact of a program to diminish gender insensitivity and sexual harassment at a medical school

Acad Med. 2000 May;75(5):464-9. doi: 10.1097/00001888-200005000-00017.


Purpose: To measure the effect of an intervention to reduce gender insensitivity and sexual harassment at one medical school.

Method: Stanford University School of Medicine undertook a multifaceted program to educate faculty and students regarding gender issues and to diminish sexual harassment. The authors developed a survey instrument to assess the faculty's perceptions regarding environment (five scales) and incidences of sexual harassment. Faculty were surveyed twice during the interventions (1994 and 1995).

Results: Between the two years, the authors measured significant improvements in mean ratings for positive climate (p = .004) and cohesion (p = .006) and decreases in the faculty's perceptions of sexual harassment (p = 0006), gender insensitivity (p = .001), and gender discrimination (p = .004). The faculty also reported fewer observations of harassing behavior during the study period.

Conclusions: An intervention program to diminish gender insensitivity and sexual harassment can measurably improve a medical school's environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prejudice*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Schools, Medical*
  • Sexual Harassment*
  • United States