Study Finds Vast Majority of College Campus Rapes Are Committed By Repeat Offenders

According to a study by a team of researchers from Union University in Tennessee, Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and the University of Redlands in California, the vast majority of alcohol-involved sexual assault incidents on college campuses are committed by serial perpetrators.

For their study, the researchers examined data from the Core Alcohol and Other Drug Survey developed by the Core Institute at Southern Illinois University, which included a sample of 12,624 men from 49 community and four-year colleges. The results found that just over 5 percent of college men have committed sexual assault and more than 87 percent of alcohol-involved sexual violence crimes were committed by serial offenders.

Additionally, the results found that fraternity men and student athletes were much more likely to commit sexual assault than other men on campus. However, among fraternity members, the highest rates of perpetration were among active non-leaders, whereas among student athletes, the highest levels of repeat sexual assault cases were among team leaders.

The researchers believe their results can help college administrators identify the populations of college men who are most likely to commit sexual assault and therefore target these groups with the proper prevention education.

“The underlying goal of the research was to better understand male behavior to better inform preventive approaches designed specifically for college campuses,” the authors write. “Our findings are promising in providing guidance that more fully explains key attitudinal and health-related behaviors that are essential to a meaningful model to guide prevention practice.”

The full study, “Is Campus Rape Primarily a Serial or One-Time Problem? Evidence From a Multicampus Study,” was published in the journal Violence Against Women. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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