Sexual harms of doctors by doctors: International perspectives, experiences and responses

Following their research into sexual abuse in the medical profession,  A/Prof Louise Stone, Prof Kirsty Douglas, and Prof Christine Phillips are extending their work by collaborating with research teams from over 15 countries to write a research anthology: Sexual harms of doctors by doctors: International perspectives, experiences, and responses. This book will engage with the sociocultural, geopolitical and historical contexts that impact the narrative journey of doctors who have been sexually harmed by other doctors. 

Why a book?

Movements such as #MeToo, #MeoQueridoProfesor, #UtanTystnadsplikt, and #BeyondZeroTolerance have exposed entrenched toxicity across a range of workplaces, and a variety of approaches to addressing abuse.

Sexual harms of doctors by doctors involve multiple dilemmas across multiple actors, many of which are specific to the disciplinary and cultural context.

This book aims to develop a rich understanding informed by this complexity, to support the development of sophisticated and effective solutions. By exploring contextual factors and engaging in cross-cultural collaboration, the book offers a reflexive, in-depth discourse on the narrative trajectory of doctors who have experienced sexual harms by other doctors.

The authors and editors share a deep conviction that solutions will be found through understanding contextual factors and exploring diverse perspectives.

This book engages with doctors and experts in non-medical fields alike, recruiting the efforts of researchers in areas where funding for projects like this is limited or non-existent. This approach is informed by the editors’ recognition of the sociocultural and regulatory complexities embedded in sexual harms between doctors, and by their deep conviction that solutions can only be reached by exploring the factors that influence the efficacy of interventions to address sexual harms of doctors by doctors, in dialogues enriched with diverse perspectives.

With this collaborative effort, we aim to respectfully elevate the voices of a diverse corps of researchers, on a topic so often relegated to silence. By generating an anthology of narratives and situating them within their cultural contexts, the project aims to provide nuanced insight to guide policy-makers, educators, activists and the medical community alike.

About the book

Sexual harms of doctors by doctors: International perspectives, experiences, and responses is a research anthology, allocating a chapter to each collaborator or group of collaborators.

The book is comprised of 4 key sections.

Section 1 provides a brief holistic introduction to the issue of sexual harms of doctors by doctors in a broadly international scope.

Section 2 discusses dilemmas encountered at different systemic levels when attempting to address the issue.

Section 3 presents case studies from different countries around the globe, aiming to provide insight into the cultural, sociohistorical, and institutional influences on the experiences of doctors who have been sexually harmed by other doctors.

Section 4 provides insight from current medical students, grassroots activists, and leaders, on their perspectives on the issue and their views on how to create change.

Our contributors hail from all over the world

Sections 1, 2, and 4, contain chapters written by contributors in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Poland, and the UK, and come from a range of different disciplines including law, medical regulation, organisational psychology, medical education, psychiatry, and gender medicine.

The chapters in Section 3 are organised by WHO region, and are the greatest source of diverse perspectives in this project. These chapters currently include researchers from Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the USA, Mexico, Austria, the UK, Germany, and Sweden.

Beyond the Book

The Observatory

Although we have necessary restrictions on the content included in the book itself, this project is part of a broader international dialogue, and we want to continue its momentum.

We are currently in the process of extending this project in the form of an observatory, to ensure that publication of the book does not close the door on other stories being told, and heard.

Continuing the Dialogue

Our contributors are involved in a number of projects around the issue of sexual harms in medicine, including publications, conference posters, symposium presentations, and more.