6.0252 R: Sexual Harassment (1/33)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 23 Sep 1992 01:31:35 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 6, No. 0252. Wednesday, 23 Sep 1992.

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1992 12:01:41 -0400
From: "David A. Hoekema" <hoekema@brahms.udel.edu>
Subject: Sexual harassment panel

Replying to Dan Tompkins' query: The APA has not formally convened
any panels on sexual harassment, but there is a proposal to the
Board of Officers to do so (to be considered at its meeting next
month). A few years ago a Board member presented some proposals
under consideration at her university for Board discussion and
possible enactment as a "code of conduct" for philosophers, but
after lengthy discussion the majority view was that any national
and disciplinary standards would be at best a supplement to, at
worst a distraction from, the more urgent task of enacting
institutional policies that have some teeth.

There have been several panels on philosophical and moral issues
of sexual harassment at APA meetings--both at the invitation of the
program committee and in affiliated groups. Some have turned out,
I am told, to involve extensive personal accounts of painful
experiences, when speakers or audience members volunteered their
own case studies to illustrate points under discussion. I am
not sure whether these discussions proved fruitful or not: it
is impossible to separate personal experience from philosophical
argument in such areas, yet there is a grave danger both of exposing
victims of harassment to still further abuse (because they spill the
beans) and of exposing alleged harassers to false accusations that
they cannot rebut because they do not even know they are made (even
if names are not used, circumstances often point to individuals).

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