National study on gender-based violence in academia - About the study

Sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence, vulnerability and victimization is a serious threat to the health and work environment of individuals. The experiences that emerged during the #metoo movement describe the consequences of various forms of gender-based violence – both on an individual, organisational, and societal level.

Why we conduct this study

Research in the field is limited. The Swedish field of research cannot currently answer what forms sexual harassment takes in academia in Sweden, its extent, or the consequences it has for both individual career opportunities and for academia as employer, education provider, and knowledge organisation.

Sweden lacks research findings to show the extent of the problem and most surveys and studies available consist of minor, cross-sectional studies conducted before 2010.

International research surveys show that there is a lack of research that considers the various forms and expressions of violence or focus on intersectional dimensions in relation to sexual harassment, both in Sweden and internationally. It is therefore important to collectinformation that separates various forms of harassment, how frequently harassment occurs and the level of abuse. Information on whether certain groups of individuals are more vulnerable than others also needs to be collected in order to design and target both preventive and supportive efforts. There is also a lack of previous studies on perpetrators, i.e. focusing on those who subject others to sexual harassment. It is necessary to gain thorough knowledge of what consequences harassment may have for the person subjected thereto, of bystanders (i.e. witnesses or passers-by) and perpetrators.

A unique study

This is the first study of its kind in Sweden. It is a research-based, base-line measurement of sexual harassment in the overall academic sector. The goal is to follow the development over time. We hope to use the results to create preventive and support measures to create higher education institutions free of sexual harassment. The results are also expected to form a basis for future research and development initiatives as well as comparisons in future follow-up studies. 


The Research and Collaboration Programme is funding the study and its execution. A report showing results at an overall, higher education institution level will be made freely available. The higher education institutions will be able to order data for its individual organisation through Statistics Sweden (SCB).

Read more about access to the results.


For questions about the study you can contact: