Campus Sexual Assaults and Campus Prevention

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Sexual Assaults on campuses has been a problem that has not been addressed as much as it’s needed to be. According to statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), at least two-third of students will experience some sort of sexual assault on campuses. Of those two-thirds. While statistics say women are more likely than men to experience this, that’s simply not the case. 25% of women will be forced into sex, but 15% of men will as well. And of these sexual assaults, over ninety percent are not reported. But why is this so prevalent? Living in an age where we see films and television shows that glorify sex in college, as well as it being considered one of the most popular genre’s in the porn industry, sex in college is generally seen as the “norm” to students.

So with college students engaging in sexual behaviors, this causes more attempts on gaining sexual partners, whether with consent or not. Also it’s at a time where most young adults begin to experience sexual intercourse, and think more with their pleasures than the consequences of their actions. So in this literature paper, I will explore the bystanders involved, and why they may or may not report or intervene, as well as strategies in preventing for the future.

Bystander Intervention

While there may be a misconception that the reason why sexual assaults are not reported because of lack of witnesses, this is simply not the case. (Palmer et al., 2016, Hoxmaier et. Al 2018, Ochwoski et. Al 2015, Foubert & Bridges 2016, Franklin et al 2017).The numbers show that at least two-thirds of sexual assaults or inter partner violence has a witness present and at least 28% in a rape (Orchwoski et al 2015). But what’s keeping these bystanders from reporting anything after the fact? Continuing on with the article done by Orchwoski et.

Al 2015 titled Bystander Intervention Among College Men: The Role of Alcohol and Correlates to Sexual Aggression. The study takes a look at whether alcohol plays a role in the attitude in a college men when being a bystander to a sexual assault, and their views on masculinity. The participants of the study are 242 men from a Northeast college, age averaging from 20 to 21, majority being Caucasian (86.4%). Students in the study were asked questions like the amount of alcohol consumption in 30 days, with anything being over 5 drinks a day or more regularly as “heavy drinkers”, with categories being ‘non-heavy drinker” vs. ‘heavy drinkers’. Different scenarios were given to the participants, whether it’d be their friends fooling with an intoxicated woman, being witnesses to any foul play, and how’d they respond.

The results showed that the men classified as “heavy drinkers” were more than two times likely to not intervene or report a sexual assault compared to the “non-heavy drinkers”, though it would change if they witnessed a passed out woman being carried away by a person they did not know. That being said, the men who did the survey have also indicated that they did not approve of men committing sexual assaults, and did not believe it to be “masculine” of any sort. While the study did have a good hypothesis, as well as their results matching it, even the writers of the article know their limitations. Not enough diversity in their participants since it was majority Caucasian men, as well as the participants of the university being a very small amount (around 18.3%). So lets take a look at more studies about why bystanders don’t report more sexual assaults

In a study done by (Foubert, Bridges, 2017) titled: What is the Attraction? Pornography Use Motives in Relation to Bystander Intervention, they take a look at whether pornography plays a role in whether bystander to campus sexual assaults report it or not. The study mentions that around 87% of college men view pornography, and 43% see it weekly (pg 3071-72). Also in their study, they take a look at research done by other scholars, in which they view the exposures of pornography by adolescence. The researchers ;(Carroll et al., 2008; Kingston, Malamuth, Fedoroff, & Marshall, 2009), gave statistics that 93% of college men, and 62% of women viewed pornography at one point or another before turning 18 (pg 3073).

So does this correlate to their perception of a sexual assault at all? So the participants in the study 450 participants from a southern college, 67.6 being woman and 32.4% male, 82.8% whites, 7.5% African Americans, etc who is asked questions from stuff going from pornography and other sexual exposures, why they view it, and bystander scenarios. Results showed that men are more likely than woman to view pornography. The common result for both males and females on why they view pornography is as a form to release stress, as well as the thrill. The study also indicated that women are far more likely to intervene in a sexual assault, as opposed to men. Despite all of this, there was no differences that showed that people who watch porn are less likely to report sexual assaults than those who do not view it (pg 3085). Their reasoning for this in the survey is because while those who view pornography have more sexual thoughts, it doesn’t simply correlate to acts because of a moral attitudes.

Would also knowing the people you’re associated with make a difference in how a witness decides to intervene in a sexual assault? In this area, studies where done with a bystanders association with those involved. In a study conducted by Palmer et al, 2016, a random sample was done of students from a private college from the Midwest that put them into three different groups which would determine if they would intervene in a sexual assault if they were a bystander; if they knew the victim, knew the perpetrator, or knew neither, and the way they would intervene, whether it’d be in a direct confrontation, an indirect one (create a distraction), or they would find third party to help (delegate).

For group 1, which was the situation where they knew the victim, study showed that they would be a 66.7% chance they would intervene directly, 15% indirectly, and 16.7% delegate. For Group 2, if the bystander knew neither the victim nor the perpetrator, results were that 46.2 of those involved would intervene directly, 18.5% indirectly, and 33.1% would delegate. Group 3 had where they knew the perpetrator, a 66.7% intervention directly and 16.3% for both indirect and delegate. As you see by the data, when it comes to both knowing either the victim or the perpetrator, there’s a 66.7% of a chance that a person is likely to have a direct confrontation in a sexual assault, while if you know neither the victim or the perpetrator, it came at a 46.2% chance they would intervene directly, a -20.5% chance.

Cite this paper

Campus Sexual Assaults and Campus Prevention. (2021, Oct 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/campus-sexual-assaults-and-campus-prevention/

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