Survey Finds That LGBTQ College Students Are at High Risk of Sexual Assault

Many studies have shown that sexual assault has been and continues to be a major problem on college campuses across the United States. A new study led by Colleen Ray, a graduate student in sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln finds that sexual assault and misconduct impacts not only heterosexual women but also affects what the study calls “sexual minority men and women.”

Ray conducted a survey of a large group of college students on two university campuses. She found that 51 percent of heterosexual women reported some type of sexual assault or misconduct over the previous 12 months. But 64 percent of sexual minority women and 52 percent of sexual minority men were victims.

“The main takeaway is that by focusing on males versus females, we’re missing this group of people being victimized,” Ray said. “We need to think about changing the language that we use when talking about sexual assault.”

Focusing solely on heterosexual females as victims may add unnecessary difficulties for sexual minorities and men to report sexual assault, Ray said.

The full study, “Risk Factors for Forced, Incapacitated, and Coercive Sexual Victimization Among Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Male and Female College Students,” was published on the website of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudyTitle IX


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