Jealousy and Field Work Romances

Lynda B. Williams, PhD: Stressors, Sex, and Sexism: A Wrongfully Assumed Affair

How to handle being accused of having an affair with the advisor.

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Dr. Lynda B. Williams's Bio

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Transcript: Stressors, Sex, and Sexism: A Wrongfully Assumed Affair

I've had very good luck with peers. I did have some jealousy going on in my master's days. Well I was married, and one of the women was married, and I was working with her husband in the field. She was worried that I was interested in her husband which I thought was very strange. I was not at all interested in her husband, and so those things I think happen a lot especially in geology. There's field work involved, and some people go off to field seasons or on a ship for months together, and they don't see their families. That's a common thing to have field romances that are really difficult; not just for women but for men, so that's just something you've got to be cautious of. Open your eyes and don't do stupid things. Not saying that I didn't do stupid things, I'm just saying that you have to watch out for them. Yeah I think it's really important to, as we were discussing earlier, to try to imagine yourself 20 years down the road, and I know it's difficult starting out. Those people are going to be in your lives, especially if it's as insolated as our field. Geologists, I can go anywhere in the world and start talking to another geologist, and we know at least half a dozen people in common. Those are the people who are going to be in your life probably for your entire career, and they may be making decisions about your job. They might be making decisions about your funding. No telling where they're going to end up, so it's really pretty important to consider how things will play out down the road. Think before you act.


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