An open invitation to MARAD Administrator Jaenichen to correct the record

Yesterday during the State of the Academy briefing to the alumni, I confronted Maritime Administrator Jaenichen and Superintendent Helis about my post showing that the Academy SA/SH surveys are over-reporting sexual harassment in comparison to the similar surveys done at the other federal academies. Jaenichen said that I’m wrong, that he had seen my post on KingsPointSentry and that they rechecked the data and that the 67% figure for sexual harassment on women at the Academy does not include sexist behavior.

If that post is wrong, it is because I relied upon information put out by the Academy.

Here are the definitions of sexist behavior and sexual harassment from the Defense Manpower Data Center (“DMDC”) survey for the other four federal academies:

Sexist behavior includes verbal/nonverbal behaviors that convey insulting, offensive, or condescending attitudes based on the gender of the student. Perceived sexual harassment is comprised of three component measures: crude/offensive behavior, unwanted sexual attention, and sexual coercion. Crude/offensive behavior includes verbal/nonverbal behaviors of a sexual nature that were offensive or embarrassing to the student. Unwanted sexual attention includes unwanted attempts to establish a sexual relationship. Sexual coercion includes quid pro quo instances of specific treatment or favoritism conditioned on sexual cooperation.

(This is found on page 9 of the pdf document).  On page 316 of the pdf, you can see that the other four academies had a sexual harassment on women rate of 48%.  And on page 350 of the pdf, you can see that women at the other four academies had sexist behavior encounters of 87%.

Here is what the Academy said was the definition of sexual harassment from the DMDC survey taken at USMMA:

The survey’s definition of sexual harassment includes acts of sexist behavior, crude and/or offensive behavior, unwanted sexual attention and sexual coercion. The Survey also asked if the Midshipman considered any of the selected behaviors to be sexual harassment.

This is found on page 9 of the pdf document (footnote omitted, emphasis added). (The omitted footnote says that the definitions are found in survey question 15.  Survey question 15 (found at pdf page 53) includes sexist behavior.)

Now later in the USMMA report there is a contradiction. On pdf page 12, there is a definition of sexual harassment that does not include sexist behavior. So maybe the rate as reported by the Academy does not include sexist behavior. This is why it is critical that the Academy release the actual report it received from DMDC and not the summary of that report that it slapped the Academy logo on and released. (In yesterday’s meeting with the USMMAAAF board, Helis confirmed that the USMMA report was created by the Academy and then passed up the chain of command to MARAD and DOT.)

Compare the report from DMDC that was prepared for the four academies.  Does anyone really believe that DMDC did not create a similar report for Kings Point?  Why hasn’t that report been released? Why was it necessary for the Academy to provide only a summary?

So here’s my offer to Jaenichen.  Release the report from DMDC. I will promptly update my prior post and correct it if my reliance upon the Academy’s statement on pdf page 9 of the USMMA report was misplaced.

(update:  Edited to correct the page number for where the definition of sexual harassment appears in the USMMA report.  It appears on pdf page 9 of the document and then cross references to question 15 which appears on pdf page 53.)