OBJECTIVE: Sexual harassment has many short- and long-term consequences and greatly impacts the clinical work environment, job satisfaction, job performance, and mental wellbeing of the individual. Data on prevalence of sexual harassment in a women-majority field such as Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) are limited. This national cross-sectional study sought to determine the prevalence of sexual harassment among OBGYN trainees in the United States (U.S.) and assess the associated departmental cultural climate. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS: This study was a cross-sectional, anonymous, voluntary, national survey of OBGYN residents and fellows in the U.S. conducted from May 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019. The validated Sexual Experience Questionnaire was administered via an online survey. Trainees were also queried regarding wellbeing, work satisfaction, and departmental/institutional reporting structure. Demographic data were also gathered. The main outcome was prevalence of sexual harassment among U.S. OBGYN trainees. RESULTS: An email including the survey link was distributed to 1473 OBGYN trainees from 60 programs; 366 completed it (24.8% response rate). The mean age of survey respondents was 30.5 (SD 2.9) years. The majority of respondents were women (86%), White (64.1%), and residents (PGY 1-4, 80.2%). The prevalence of sexual harassment among respondents was 69.1% (69.6% of men and 68.7% of women). The prevalence of sexual harassment by race/ethnicity was: Hispanic/Latina 75.0%, White 68.7%, Asian 68.6%, and Black 47.4% trainees. The majority of respondents’ program directors were women (66.4%, 227/342) and the majority of department chairs were men (68.9%, 235/341). The prevalence of sexual harassment did not differ based on the gender of the respondents’ program directors and chairs (p-value 0.93). CONCLUSIONS: There is a high prevalence of sexual harassment among U.S. OBGYN trainees. Action is required to improve institutional and departmental cultures.
- Sexual harassment