The following statement was prepared by an ad hoc
committee on sexual harassment (Judith Thomson, chair) and approved by the
board of officers at its 1993 meeting. It was revised in November 2013 on the recommendation of a second ad hoc committee on sexual harassment (Kathryn Norlock, chair) and last updated in May 2016. Originally published in Proceedings and Addresses of the American
Philosophical Association, Vol. 67, no.
4, pp. 96-97.
Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or sexually directed remarks constitute sexual harassment when submission to such conduct is made a condition of academic or employment decisions, or when such conduct persists despite its rejection.
Sexual harassment is a serious violation of professional ethics, and should be regarded and treated as such by members of the profession. Colleges and universities should supply clear, fair institutional procedures under which charges of sexual harassment on campus can be brought, assessed, and acted on.
Complaints of sexual harassment should be brought to the APA’s Ombudsperson Concerning Discrimination and Sexual Harassment. Complaints of sexual harassment made during an APA meeting should also be brought to the executive director, who is on-site at all divisional meetings and, depending on the nature of the complaint, may be able to act upon it immediately.
Members of the association who conduct employment interviews in conjunction with divisional meetings should make sure that the conditions in which those interviews take place, and the manner in which they are conducted, are appropriately professional and unthreatening.
Members of the association, particularly members exercising authority of any kind, are urged to be aware of this policy, and to prevent violations where possible and to take alleged violations seriously.
Sexual Harassment Complaints
Individual members wishing to lodge formal complaints of sexual harassment or other types of discrimination should see the APA's discrimination complaint procedure.
Report of the 2013 Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Harassment
At its November 2012 meeting, the APA board of officers authorized an ad hoc committee on sexual harassment (Kathryn Norlock, chair) to develop and recommend best practices for addressing sexual harassment in the discipline. The committee's report and the proposals contained within it were accepted by the board of officers at its November 2013 meeting. That report may be downloaded at the following link:
We Can Act: A report recommending best practices to be implemented by the APA regarding sexual harassment in the discipline