Sex bias rampant among medics

August 4, 2000

A study has found pervasive discrimination and sexual harassment of female clinicians, researchers and teachers at US medical schools.

The study, which involved about 2,000 people at 24 randomly selected medical schools, found that women were more than twice as likely as men to have encountered sex discrimination.

More than three-quarters of the women polled said they had been discriminated against because of their sex, and half said this had hindered their professional advancement. Nearly a third said they had received unwanted sexual advances. The problems were most pronounced in the surgical specialities.

"Surgery and other procedure-oriented specialities place a higher value on hierarchy, authority and traditional hegemonic structures than do other disciplines, which has better maintained an environment of gender discrimination," the researchers wrote in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

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