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      Testing the effectiveness of interactive training on sexual harassment and assault in field science

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          Abstract

          Abstract

          Fieldwork is a critical tool for scientific research, particularly in applied disciplines. Yet fieldwork is often unsafe, especially for members of historically marginalized groups and people whose presence in scientific spaces threatens traditional hierarchies of power, authority, and legitimacy. Research is needed to identify interventions that prevent sexual harassment and assault from occurring in the first place. We conducted a quasi-experiment assessing the impacts of a 90-min interactive training on field-based staff in a United States state government agency. We hypothesized that the knowledge-based interventions, social modeling, and mastery experiences included in the training would increase participants’ sexual harassment and assault prevention knowledge, self-efficacy, behavioural intention, and behaviour after the training compared to a control group of their peers. Treatment–control and pre-post training survey data indicate that the training increased participants’ sexual harassment and assault prevention knowledge and prevention self-efficacy, and, to a lesser extent, behavioural intention. These increases persisted several months after the training for knowledge and self-efficacy. While we did not detect differences in the effect of the training for different groups, interestingly, post-hoc tests indicated that women and members of underrepresented racial groups generally scored lower compared to male and white respondents, suggesting that these groups self-assess their own capabilities differently. Finally, participants’ likelihood to report incidents increased after the training but institutional reports remained low, emphasizing the importance of efforts to transform reporting systems and develop better methods to measure bystander actions. These results support the utility of a peer-led interactive intervention for improving workplace culture and safety in scientific fieldwork settings.

          Protocol registration

          "The stage 1 protocol for this Registered Report was accepted in principle on August 24, 2022. The protocol, as accepted by the journal, can be found at: 10.6084/m9.figshare.21770165.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                melissa.cronin@duke.edu
                megan.jones@oregonstate.edu
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                8 January 2024
                8 January 2024
                2024
                : 14
                : 523
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.205975.c, ISNI 0000 0001 0740 6917, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, , University of California, Santa Cruz, ; Santa Cruz, CA USA
                [2 ]Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, ( https://ror.org/00py81415) Durham, NC USA
                [3 ]California Department of Fish and Wildlife, ( https://ror.org/02v6w2r95) Sacramento, CA USA
                [4 ]Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, ( https://ror.org/017dm4063) Los Angeles, CA USA
                [5 ]U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oregon State University, ( https://ror.org/00ysfqy60) Corvallis, OR USA
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4284-3650
                Article
                49203
                10.1038/s41598-023-49203-0
                10774269
                38191560
                37331485-266d-4b7e-ac5e-a3e9bcb3dd6a
                © The Author(s) 2024

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 31 March 2022
                : 5 December 2023
                Funding
                Funded by: California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
                Award ID: P2190010
                Award ID: 21-1156
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: California Department of Fish & Wildlife reference # CDFW P2190010, 18843-443647 A22-0703
                Categories
                Registered Report
                Custom metadata
                © Springer Nature Limited 2024

                Uncategorized
                human behaviour,risk factors,psychology and behaviour
                Uncategorized
                human behaviour, risk factors, psychology and behaviour

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