Ft. Lauderdale, FL-The timing of a new study, showing that young women doing scientific fieldwork frequently face sexual harassment and assault, may very well thwart recent initiatives to get girls interested in science and technology careers.

The study conducted by Kate Clancy, anthropology professor at the University of Illinois, found that 64 percent of the study’s 658 participants– 516 women and 142 men—, working in anthropology archaeology and other sciences, experienced sexual harassment while doing field work while twenty percent said they had been sexually assaulted. And in many of those cases, those surveyed said the harasser or the assailant was their supervisor.

Ninety percent of the young women who were harassed where undergraduates, post-graduates or post-doctoral. And over half of participants were in the field of anthropology were fieldwork is critical to their careers.

Clancy, who is also lead-author of the study, was inspired to conduct the study after she was contacted by a young woman doing fieldwork in a foreign country. The young woman said her professor and her peers subjected asked about her sex life, put up pornographic images on her work station along with a host of other inappropriate behaviors. If she reported it, her professor threatened to take away her funding.

For anyone entering the science or anthropology fieldwork and is an intrinsic part of their education. Many programs require at least one semester of fieldwork for a degree and it makes a student more attractive to employers. It is also necessary to receive research grants.

As if the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault wasn’t troubling enough the study also found that many of the participants did not know to report their harassment or who to report to.

Participants were recruited online via social media and anthropology websites, according to the Washington Post. Clancy conceded that her findings may be slightly limited since some of the study’s participants may have been compelled to participate because of a prior negative experience.

“Our main findings…suggest that at least some field sites are not safe, nor inclusive,” Clancy said in a statement. “We worry this is at least one mechanism driving women from science.”

Clancy’s findings, along with the a recent study form the DOJ, which found that one in five women are sexually assaulted at least once during their college lives, shows that young women are routinely abused at a pivotal time in their lives.

Typically, in the workplace, there is a clearer system of reporting and dealing with sexual harassment. An employee reports the harassment, allegations are investigated and the harasser is punished. If not then the abused employee can retain a sexual harassment attorney and pursue a civil suit. But in college, the system isn’t as clear.

Recent Department of Education investigations have found that colleges and universities do not have clear sexual harassment and assault reporting policies in place. Students are unaware of how to report sexual harassment and who to report it to. Even when incidents are reported, school administrators often ignore complaints or dole meager punishments.

No one should be subjected to sexual harassment. If you are facing this on a daily basis, and your employer won’t help, it’s time to contact a sexual harassment attorney. They will put an end to your abuse and get you compensation for your lost wages and emotional distress.