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Survey of Dental Researchers’ Perceptions of Sexual Harassment at AADR Conferences 2015-2018

Alexandria, VA, USA – At the 97th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), AADR Immediate Past President Raul Garcia, Boston University, Massachusetts, USA, presented a poster on “Survey of Dental Researchers’ Perceptions of Sexual Harassment at AADR Conferences 2015-2018.” The IADR/AADR/CADR General Session & Exhibition is held at the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building in Vancouver, BC, Canada from June 19-22, 2019.  

AADR studied perceptions and experiences of sexual harassment among registrants for AADR Annual Meetings. Registrants of AADR meetings from 2015-2018 were emailed an invitation to an anonymous, online survey. Demographics were assessed categorically by age, gender, race/ethnicity, frequency of meeting attendance, academic degree type, IADR Division/Section membership and academic status. 

Bivariate analyses included eight types of perceived harassment, reports of any type of perceived harassment, and affirmative responses to the survey item assessing perceived experiences with sexual harassment at a scientific workplace or other career-related venue. Restricted analyses were additionally conducted among individuals who reported any type of harassment to identify respondents’ demographic characteristics and the statistical significance of bivariate associations among them. 

Of the completed surveys, 21% responded affirmatively to experiencing one or more of the eight types of harassment surveyed. Within the 21%, experience with ‘put downs’ or condescending remarks occurred most frequently (70%) and perceived harassment of a sexual nature was less common, by comparison with 37.8% reporting experience with ‘sexist remarks’; 33.1% reporting staring, leering or ‘ogling’ that was uncomfortable; 22.7% reporting ‘touching’ that was uncomfortable; 11% reporting unwanted attempts at a romantic relationship; and <5% reporting experiences with ‘bribes’, ‘threats’, or provision of ‘suggestive materials’.

While most respondents had no personal experience with harassment at AADR meetings, the fact that one in five did experience one or more of the eight types of harassment should be cause for concern. In 2018, the AADR introduced a new Professional Conduct at Meetings Policy, but further actions may be required.


This poster presentation, #2231, was held on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 11 a.m. in West Exhibition Hall B of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

About the International Association for Dental Research
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 11,400 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. To learn more, visit www.iadr.org. The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is the largest Division of IADR with 3,300 members in the United States. To learn more, visit www.iadr.org/aadr.

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