This smart dress experiment shows how often women are harassed at night clubs and the results are alarming

Fashionable modern woman
Fashionable modern woman

Advertising agency Ogilvy, in collaboration with beverage company Schweppes, address the sexual harassment scourge with a “smart dress” research campaign dubbed ‘The dress for respect’, reports Quartz.

The dress, embedded with multiple sensors, was designed to track the extent of unwanted groping of women and to raise awareness - especially among men like those who were interviewed and said harassment was not a real issue for women in night clubs.

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One man who was interviewed said he thinks women are "just complaining, about everything" when he was asked if he sees the sexual harassment happening in night clubs.

The tech-dress was designed so that it can sense where the wearer was touched and the the intensity of the touch. Therefore, it can distinguish from an innocent touch in a packed night club and intentional inappropriate touching.

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How the experiment was conducted

Researchers sent three women to a night club wearing the exquisite turtle neck touch-sensitive party dress. The aim was to record the number of times the women would be touched inappropriately in the club.

In the video showing the experiment, we can see the women defending themselves by brushing off unwanted hands and explicitly telling some men “Don’t touch me”.

Every time they are touched, grabbed or handled the data is sent to the researcher's control centre through WiFi. The area of the body where the women are touched will then lit up.

The harassment tracking results are very unsettling, the three women were touched inappropriately 157 times in less than four hours.

Their backside, lower back and arms were touched more than other areas of the body - demonstrating the level of unwanted sexual advances women experience in clubs.

Non-profit media outlet The conversation recently conducted a similar but quantitative study on the behaviour of young people in nightclubs. 

READ MORE: Victim-blaming culture holds back #MeToo in Indonesia

They used social media to recruit 381 survey participants (342 women and 39 men) who had been to night clubs in the past six months. 

They presented them with a scenario and question survey, from which they discovered that men groped, grabbed and touched women inappropriately in clubs far more than women did. 

In follow-up questions after the study, men revealed that they would be more accepting if an attractive woman displayed this unacceptable behaviour towards them.

Have you ever been the target of unwanted sexual advances in a club and would like to share your story? Chat to us here.

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