Special Issue "Sexual Violence on College Campus"

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Raquel Kennedy Bergen

Professor of Sociology, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: violence against women; rape in marriage; sexual violence in intimate partnerships; dating violence; violence on college campus
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. George W. Dowdall

Professor of Sociology, emeritus, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA; Adjunct Fellow, College for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mental health; substance use; college drinking; violence on college campus; research methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sexual violence on college campus remains a critical social problem. In the United States, despite the passage of legislation, prevention efforts, and educational programming, sexual violence on college campus continues to garner near constant media attention. The passage of the Clery Act, the publication of the Dear Colleague letter by the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, and recent changes and reauthorizations to the Violence Against Women Act, have increasingly focused the spotlight of public attention on college campuses and how effective they are in addressing the problem of sexual violence. This has led to a growth in prevention efforts, awareness raising campaigns and efforts to educate students about healthy relationships and challenge social norms regarding sexual violence on campus. While there has been an expansive body of scholarly literature published over the past three decades, there continues to be serious debate about the prevalence of the problem and best practices to address this serious public health problem. This special issue will explore the current state of knowledge within the field. What do we know about best practices? How can we challenge existing social norms? What are the experiences of sexual violence among students in diverse groups and college settings? This special issue will address the most recent scientific findings regarding the prevalence, prevention and challenges of sexual violence on college campus.

This special issue will focus on the current state of scientific knowledge about sexual violence on college campus. This is a serious social and public health problem in the United States. Despite the media attention this problem receives, there is little empirically known about prevention and best practices. This special issue will focus on this issue, what our current state of knowledge is and future directions for making college campuses safer.

Prof. Dr. Raquel Kennedy Bergen
Prof. Dr. George W. Dowdall
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Sexual violence
  • College campus
  • Bystander intervention
  • Sexual assault
  • Date rape
  • Intimate Partner Sexual Violence
  • Prevalence
  • Prevention
  • Title IX
  • Clery Act
  • Violence Against Women

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle What Does It Mean to Be a Young African Woman on a University Campus in Times of Sexual Violence? A New Moment, a New Conversation
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(8), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8080067
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
Sexual violence in the higher education is an epidemic of global proportions. Scholars conclude that the individual and collective silence that surrounds such violence enables its perpetration and that violence will only be eradicated when we break this silence. In this paper, we
[...] Read more.
Sexual violence in the higher education is an epidemic of global proportions. Scholars conclude that the individual and collective silence that surrounds such violence enables its perpetration and that violence will only be eradicated when we break this silence. In this paper, we used two participatory visual methods (PVM), collage and storytelling, to explore what sexual violence at university looks like and what it means to woman students. Two groups of student teachers in two South African universities were engaged in collage and storytelling workshops in late 2017 and early 2018, respectively. We thematically analyzed the issues that emerged from the data, drawing on transformative learning theory to explore how our approach might help women students to break the silence around sexual violence and stimulate critical dialogue to address it. Our analysis suggests that these visual tools enabled deep reflections on the meaning and impact of sexual violence, particularly for women. In addition, the participatory process supported introspection about their experiences of sexual violence and their responses to it as bystanders in and around campus. More importantly, they discussed how they, as young women, might break the silence and sustain new conversations about gender and gender equality in institutions and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Violence on College Campus)
Open AccessArticle “Good Guys Don’t Rape”: Greek and Non-Greek College Student Perpetrator Rape Myths
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8070060
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
The current study examined sexual assault perpetrator rape myths among college students, and in particular Greek students. Fraternity men are overrepresented among sexual assault perpetrators, while sorority women are at increased risk for victimization of sexual assault. The current study examined Greek-affiliated and
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The current study examined sexual assault perpetrator rape myths among college students, and in particular Greek students. Fraternity men are overrepresented among sexual assault perpetrators, while sorority women are at increased risk for victimization of sexual assault. The current study examined Greek-affiliated and non-Greek-affiliated perceptions of perpetrator rape myths among 892 college students; 58% of the sample was Greek-affiliated. Men and Greek-affiliated students reported higher agreement on stereotypes than women and non-Greek-affiliated students regarding perpetrator rape myths. Specifically, fraternity men reported higher stereotypical perceptions compared to all women and non-affiliated men, while there was no difference between sorority and non-affiliated women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Violence on College Campus)
Open AccessArticle Violence Exposure and Mental Health of College Students in the United States
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(6), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8060053
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 20 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: Despite the well-established link between exposure to violence and mental health problems, less is known about this association among college students. The current study aimed to investigate the association between history of exposure to violence and mental health of American college
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Background: Despite the well-established link between exposure to violence and mental health problems, less is known about this association among college students. The current study aimed to investigate the association between history of exposure to violence and mental health of American college students. Methods: Healthy Mind Study (HMS, 2016–2017) is a national online survey of 41,898 adult college students. The independent variable was lifetime history of exposure to violence (psychological, physical, and sexual). The dependent variables were anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Race, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental education, financial stress, transfer status, enrollment status, and graduate status were covariates. Linear and logistic regression models were used for data analysis. Results: History of exposure to violence was associated with all three aspects of poor mental health, namely general anxiety, depression, and suicidality. These associations were independent of covariates and type of abuse. Conclusions: There is a need to address various mental health needs of college students who have experienced various forms of violence. College students who screen positive for history of violence exposure should be evaluated for anxiety, depression, and suicidal behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Violence on College Campus)
Open AccessArticle The Role of Title IX Coordinators on College and University Campuses
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8040038
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to better understand the role of Title IX coordinators and their policies across four-year universities and two-year community colleges in the United States (U.S.). There is little information regarding Title IX coordinators’ training, background, and policies on
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to better understand the role of Title IX coordinators and their policies across four-year universities and two-year community colleges in the United States (U.S.). There is little information regarding Title IX coordinators’ training, background, and policies on how they handle Title IX investigations regarding sexual violence. The data come from an online survey that included 692 Title IX coordinators across four-year (private and public) and two-year campuses and represented 42 different states in the US. The current study found that most Title IX coordinators were in part-time positions with less than three years of experience. Most of the coordinators and their investigators were trained in Title IX policies. Most coordinators provide Title IX training for their students and faculty, and most have completed a campus climate survey; however, 15% had not completed a survey. The findings suggest that the majority of campuses are continuing to increase their Title IX visibility; however, there are several recommendations for campuses to improve their policies. The current study was able to shed light on how Title IX coordinators do their jobs and the role they play in helping with the challenging issues surrounding sexual violence at institutions across the nation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Violence on College Campus)

Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Exploring Definitions and Prevalence of Verbal Sexual Coercion and Its Relationship to Consent to Unwanted Sex: Implications for Affirmative Consent Standards on College Campuses
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(8), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8080069
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
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Abstract
Campus sexual assault is a pervasive issue impacting the well-being, quality of life, and education of all students. There have been many recent efforts to prevent and address campus sexual assault, most notably the adoption of affirmative consent standards. (1) Efforts to address
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Campus sexual assault is a pervasive issue impacting the well-being, quality of life, and education of all students. There have been many recent efforts to prevent and address campus sexual assault, most notably the adoption of affirmative consent standards. (1) Efforts to address sexual assault on college campuses through an affirmative consent standard could be undermined by traditional gender norms, sexual scripts, and the power dynamics inherent in heterosexual relations, which lead to situations in which many women provide consent to unwanted sex. (2) Studies indicate that college women are likely to experience verbal sexual coercion, yet research has failed to come to a consensus on how to define, operationalize, and study verbal sexual coercion. (3) Research on sexual consent is also lacking, in particular as it relates to consent to unwanted sex as a result of the presence of verbal sexual coercion. (4) This article discusses how multiple forms of unwanted sex can be conceptually examined. (5) Policy implications and areas for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Violence on College Campus)
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