Sexual Assault, Sexual Orientation, and Reporting Among College Students

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has demonstrated significantly higher rates of sexual assault victimization among lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) students than heterosexual students, and the overwhelming majority of assaults are not reported to any official system. Given the potential for support services to provide valuable assistance and promote well-being after an assault, the present study explores whether LGBQ students report assaults at similar rates to heterosexual students. As part of the 2015 College Student Health Survey, 10,646 male and female college students at 2- and 4-year colleges in Minnesota provided data regarding sexual assault victimization; reporting to a health care provider, campus authority, police, or social contact; and sexual orientation (two items, including write-in). Chi-square tests were used to detect associations between sexual assault victimization and five sexual orientation groups; and between sexual orientation and assault reporting (for 523 assault incidents). Almost 6% of students reported that they had experienced sexual assault in the previous 12 months. Significant differences in assault experience were seen by sexual orientation groups, for both males and females. For example, rates of sexual assault were 2.5 to over 5 times higher among bisexual and queer/pansexual/other females than among heterosexual females. Reporting of sexual assault to health care providers, campus authorities or police was rare for both heterosexual and sexual minority students, and there were no significant differences in reporting across sexual orientation. LGBQ students and heterosexual students appear to be similarly comfortable accessing health care providers, police, and campus resources, suggesting that these services are not overtly biased or unwelcoming to sexual minorities. However, rates of sexual assault were considerably higher among sexual minority groups, suggesting a need for primary prevention that is appropriate and sensitive to the experiences of LGBQ students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 1 2017

Fingerprint

Sexual Behavior
Students
Heterosexuality
Crime Victims
Police
Health Personnel
Sexual Minorities
Minority Groups
Chi-Square Distribution
Primary Prevention
Health Surveys

Keywords

  • college health
  • sexual assault
  • sexual orientation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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abstract = "Research has demonstrated significantly higher rates of sexual assault victimization among lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) students than heterosexual students, and the overwhelming majority of assaults are not reported to any official system. Given the potential for support services to provide valuable assistance and promote well-being after an assault, the present study explores whether LGBQ students report assaults at similar rates to heterosexual students. As part of the 2015 College Student Health Survey, 10,646 male and female college students at 2- and 4-year colleges in Minnesota provided data regarding sexual assault victimization; reporting to a health care provider, campus authority, police, or social contact; and sexual orientation (two items, including write-in). Chi-square tests were used to detect associations between sexual assault victimization and five sexual orientation groups; and between sexual orientation and assault reporting (for 523 assault incidents). Almost 6{\%} of students reported that they had experienced sexual assault in the previous 12 months. Significant differences in assault experience were seen by sexual orientation groups, for both males and females. For example, rates of sexual assault were 2.5 to over 5 times higher among bisexual and queer/pansexual/other females than among heterosexual females. Reporting of sexual assault to health care providers, campus authorities or police was rare for both heterosexual and sexual minority students, and there were no significant differences in reporting across sexual orientation. LGBQ students and heterosexual students appear to be similarly comfortable accessing health care providers, police, and campus resources, suggesting that these services are not overtly biased or unwelcoming to sexual minorities. However, rates of sexual assault were considerably higher among sexual minority groups, suggesting a need for primary prevention that is appropriate and sensitive to the experiences of LGBQ students.",
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