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 BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Research on Women's Health issued the following:
 Federal circuit court judge Benson Everett Legg has set Feb. 28, 1994, as the date on which a trial will begin about sex discrimination and retaliation at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
 The Title VII case, Margaret Jensvold v. Donna Shalala, will be heard in Federal District Court of Maryland in Baltimore.
 Jensvold's research on premenstrual syndrome and new ways to treat depression in women was cut short and her position terminated in 1989 amidst an atmosphere of derogatory comments about herself and other women, jokes and sexualized pictures of women. She was ordered into psychotherapy with a psychiatrist who later revealed that he was employed by NIMH and couldn't assure her of confidentiality. The psychiatrist stated in deposition that he diagnosed Jensvold as having "self-defeating personality traits." In July 1993, the American Psychiatric Association concluded that self-defeating personality disorder is unscientific and voted it out of the upcoming revised edition of the psychiatric diagnostic manual (DSM-IV).
 The NIH has been making headlines recently for sex and race harassment and discrimination, retaliation, scientific bias and scientific misconduct. The General Accounting Office's watershed report which found that NIH had not included women sufficiently as research subjects, was released in June 1990. Since April 1993, a sex ring, illegal break-in, egregious sexual harassment by a top official in the office which conducts scientific misconduct investigations, the closing down of the laboratory of NIH's leading scientific misconduct experts and a pattern of tyrannical laboratory chiefs squelching the research of younger colleagues at NIH have all come to public light.
 Jensvold was the first person to speak out publicly about the problems of discrimination at NIH at a press conference in December 1990. She has repeatedly spoken up in a reasoned and articulate manner at NIH public hearings, NIH town meetings and to Congress. Her speaking up has had a broad ripple effect, empowering others at NIH and elsewhere to speak up. In October 1992, NIH officials petitioned the court to ban Jensvold from the NIH campus and bar her from communicating with employees.
 In August, Legg denied the government's petition for summary judgment. He found that Jensvold filed in a timely manner, that the experiences she is claiming are substantial, not trivial, and that the types of experiences she had at NIH are covered by the Title VII sex discrimination law. In spring 1993 the NIH Task Force on Intramural Women Scientists concluded in its report that inequities exist in pay, tenure, promotions and visibility for women scientists compared to male scientists at NIH, corroborating Jensvold's experience.
 Jensvold's case has been described as being "at the center of the Tailhook of the medical establishment." She has appeared on the "Donahue" show, and her case has been featured in magazines (e.g. Mirabella) and journals (e.g. Journal of the American Medical Association). The case raises issues about the effects upon health and science of discrimination against women scientists. The case also raises issues about abuse of psychiatry as a tool of sexual harassment. Jensvold has written about the need for psychiatry to be used ethically and well in sexual harassment cases (Psychiatric Annals). The issue becomes all the more important in light of the U.S. Supreme Court case, Harris v. Forklift Systems, to be heard on Oct. 13, 1993, in which the justices will determine whether psychological damages must be proven for sexual harassment to have occurred.
 The trial, Jensvold v. Shalala, will be open to the public.
 -0- 10/12/93
 /CONTACT: Margaret Jensvold, M.D., director, Institute for Research on Women's Health, 301-984-5684, or Lynne Bernabei of Bernabei & Katz for the institute, 202-745-1942/

CO: Institute for Research on Women's Health; National Institute of
 Mental Health; National Institutes of Health ST: Maryland IN: HEA SU: EXE

MH-DS -- DC003 -- 0953 10/12/93 09:09 EDT
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Date:Oct 12, 1993

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