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Range of Ramifications

Female graduate students who experience sexual harassment are often loath to report it, fearing the consequences it may have on their careers, the Huffington Post says.

A 2015 survey conducted by the Association of American Universities found that 69 percent of female graduate and professional students said they'd experience sexual harassment, but less than 10 percent reported it. That reluctance to report may in part be due to female graduate students being more likely than undergraduates to identify their harasser as a faculty member.

One Notre Dame graduate student who did file a complaint — it and another complaint from a student there has spurred investigations by the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights — tells the Huffington Post that in doing so, she knew she'd have to start her PhD over elsewhere. "[Faculty] are the people you rely on for getting a job, giving you career advice, mentoring you," the student tells HuffPo. Those prized network connections could then sour.

Not only are professional networks at stake, so too is money for some graduate students as graduate research assistants are paid out of faculty members' grants. Graduate students "literally depend on their advisers for their paycheck," adds Marina Rosenthal, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Oregon. "It makes it incredibly hard for them to come forward."