Research Showcase: U-M Faculty Projects on Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Harassment, Part 2 of 2


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Participants : 
  • Susan Ernst, Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology: Understanding Student Experiences with Inappropriate, Disrespectful, and Coercive Healthcare and Physical Exams: A Mixed Methods Study

  • Chithra Perumalswami, MD, MSc, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine: What is the Reception of Article X Among National Science Foundation Grant Awardees?

  • Sarah Peitzmeier, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities: Adapting an Evidence-Based Sexual Assault Prevention Intervention for Transgender Undergraduate Students

Event Date: 
November 13, 2020
Event Time: 
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Online event via Zoom
Event Accessibility : 
Please contact for any accessibility accommodations

Part Two of Two-Part Series

In 2019, IRWG awarded seed grant funding for faculty research projects related to gender-based violence and sexual harassment. These projects were funded in partnership with the U-M Office of Research. This fall, faculty awardees will share their research progress with the broader community to examine how their scholarship is working towards the goal of ending gender-based violence and sexual harassment across contexts. These panel discussions will offer opportunities for short presentations by awardees and deeper conversation with U-M scholars and audience members.

Register Here

Projects & Speakers:

Understanding Student Experiences with Inappropriate, Disrespectful, and Coercive Healthcare and Physical Exams: A Mixed Methods Study

In the wake of recent allegations of harassment and abuse perpetrated by healthcare providers at leading universities, colleges are feeling compelled to protect students on campus and in health care exam rooms. However, the scope of the problem is unknown due to the lack of studies and tools assessing experiences with inappropriate, disrespectful, and coercive (IDC) healthcare interactions among college students. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the nature of IDC interactions with healthcare providers among a diverse sample of college students in order to develop and validate a survey tool to measure IDC.

photo of Susan ErnstDr. Susan Ernst is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School and Chief of Gynecology at the University Health Service. She received her M.D. degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, graduating with highest honors. She stayed on at the University of Michigan to complete residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has been faculty on the Pediatric Ethics Committee at the University of Michigan for 8 years. She is also the faculty adviser for the professional student group of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry at UM. In addition, Dr. Ernst is the current faculty moderator for the NASPAG special interest group for clinicians caring for adolescents with disabilities, and part of the faculty group awarded a multi-center grant application for a LEND program – Leadership in Education for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities for the state of Michigan. 


What is the Reception of Article X Among National Science Foundation Grant Awardees?
Co-Investigators: Reshma Jagsi and Chithra Perumalswami

Increased public awareness of sexual harassment has led to policy windows during which active change is underway at the national level. In October 2018, in an attempt to leverage its influence to help address this major issue confronting the scientific community, the National Science Foundation (NSF) implemented Article X, requiring awardee institutions to notify the NSF of findings related to principal investigators and co-principal investigators who perpetrate sexual harassment. Jagsi and collaborators seek to understand NSF grant awardees’ knowledge, perspectives, and concerns about Article X in order to inform future policy.

photo of Chithra PerumalswamiChithra Perumalswami, MD, MSc is a health services researcher and postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her scholarly work focuses on quality of health care at the end of life, particularly for vulnerable adult populations in which health care disparities are evident. She has additional expertise examining issues that disproportionately affect women, including physician burnout, sexual harassment, and variable access to health care services. She has a Master of Science in Health and Health Care Research through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholars Program. Her clinical training includes internal medicine and palliative medicine, as well as relevant clinical and quality improvement project experience as a hospitalist for several years after residency. As a fellow in the CBSSM, she has additional experiential training in bioethics and social science methodologies.

photo of Reshma JagsiReshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., is Newman Family Professor and Deputy Chair in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan. An internationally recognized clinical trialist and health services researcher, Dr. Jagsi’s medical research focuses on improving the quality of care received by breast cancer patients, both by advancing the ways in which breast cancer is treated with radiation and by advancing the understanding of patient decision-making, cost, and access to appropriate care. Her research in this area is funded by an NIH R01 grant to evaluate an intervention to help support women with breast cancer and their physicians to make high quality decisions. She is also supported by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to lead research on inflammatory breast cancer and innovative radiotherapy approaches to intensify treatment in that setting. She led the national IDEA trial to investigate approaches for radiation treatment de-escalation among patients with biologically favorable breast cancer, and she is active in the National Cancer Institute's cooperative groups, including SWOG and NRG. She also serves on the NCI's BOLD task force on locoregional management of breast cancer.

A substantial focus of her research considers issues of bioethics and gender equity in academic medicine. Her investigations of women’s under-representation in senior positions in academic medicine and the mechanisms that must be targeted to promote equity have been funded by an NIH R01 grant and grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AMA, and other philanthropic funders. She leads the national program evaluation for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Fund to Retain Clinician Scientists, a large national intervention that was inspired in part by her own research. She also leads an NIH R01-funded investigation using deliberative democratic approaches to illuminate patients’ attitudes towards secondary use of data collected in routine clinical encounters and a current Greenwall Foundation-funded investigation of patient attitudes towards approaches used by hospitals to encourage donations from grateful patients. (link to full bio)


Adapting an Evidence-based Sexual Assault Prevention Intervention for Transgender Undergraduate Students

One in three transgender undergraduates experiences sexual assault during college. No evidence-based sexual assault prevention intervention addresses their unique vulnerabilities. The Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act intervention is the only intervention proven to reduce rape victimization by over 50% among cisgender female undergraduates. This pilot project conducts the mixed-methods formative research necessary to adapt this gold-standard intervention for transgender students, using focus group and survey data. The findings will be sufficient to draft and test an adapted intervention under an NIH R21 mechanism.

photo of Sarah PeitzmeierSarah Peitzmeier, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities. Her mixed-methods research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of gender-based violence, as well as LGBTQ health and HIV. She is best known for her work to understand and screen for intimate partner violence in transgender populations, and work understanding the health impact of chest binding in transmasculine spectrum individuals. Her ongoing work includes intervention development studies to prevent campus sexual assault against transgender undergraduates and cisgender women undergraduates. She received her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2017.