AABA Addresses Sexual and Other Harassment (2016)

To foster a community of inclusion and respect in which we can focus all of our attention on our science, the AABA Executive and other committees have developed a number of resources, initiatives, and new programming.  Following an open letter from the President and Past-President in April, 2015, in September we instituted a registration statement of Ethical Conduct during the AABA Annual Meeting.  This statement affirms each registrant’s commitment to follow the AABA Code of Ethics while attending the Annual Meeting.  (The above statements can be found at https://bioanth.org/about/aaba-statements-on-sexual-and-other-harassment/).  In November, the AAAABAPA Executive Committee endorsed a Statement on Sexual Harassment and Assault (https://bioanth.org/news/631/) that represented two years of work by the Ethics Committee and which covers inappropriate behavior across a variety of spaces.  The statement has since become the template for one endorsed by the Paleoanthropology Society.  The statement expands on the AABA Code of Ethics (https://bioanth.org/position-statements/), which all members should read and are expected to adhere.  Additional resources can be found at (https://bioanth.org/about/aaba-statements-on-sexual-and-other-harassment/).  And, all field schools advertising on the AAPAAABAwebsite must now provide a link to their own sexual harassment statement. 

The 2016 meeting in Atlanta features programming on these topics as well.  A talk and workshop on Title IX resources will be conducted by an outside professional on Thursday from 5-6:30pm.  We will discuss ethics and harassment at the Business Meeting Friday at 5pm.  The Atlanta meeting also features the inaugural Presidential Panel “Working Together to Change the Future: A dialog on harassment in biological anthropology” Saturday afternoon (2-4pm).  The panelists will discuss how sexual, racial, gender, and disability harassment manifest during different career stages (trainee, pre/non-tenure, tenured faculty) and how responsibilities to others change with rank and across different institutional settings (institutional and field program responsibility).  Discussion will include effective strategies for surviving, thriving and accessing resources, how to be effective allies, and what we as a discipline need to do to change our culture.

We are pleased that our community feels empowered to discuss our shortcomings and motivated to change them.