A newly released study by the Association of American Universities (AAU), consisting of data from over 180,000 college students across the United States, has revealed that 1 in 4 undergraduate women from the thirty-three universities surveyed has experienced sexual assault while they were students.
This survey of more than 180,000 students comes as a follow-up report to a similar report published by the AAU in 2015. The data for the most recent report comes from thirty-three universities during the 2018-2019 school year. The respondents hailed from both public and private institutions as well as both undergraduate and graduate programs. Students were classified by gender as well as whether they were undergraduate or graduate students at the time.
The Results of the Study
The results of the study showed that the overall rate of non-consensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent was 13 percent. However, the prevalence rate of the same varied significantly by gender and student status. For example, the prevalence rate of non-consensual sexual conduct by force or inability to consent was shown to be nearly three times higher for undergraduate women than women in graduate and professional programs. Likewise, the prevalence rate for undergraduate men was twice as high as men in graduate and professional programs. Among non-identified gendered and transgendered students, 22.8 percent of undergraduates and 14.5 percent of graduate students reported this type of assault.
As compared to the AAU’s 2015 study, the 2019 study shows that the sexual assault rates for undergraduate men and women have risen by a couple of percentage points. The rate for non-identified gendered and transgendered students has stayed relatively consistent. Specifically, juxtaposed with the 2015 study, the recent study showed a 3 percent increase among undergraduate women, a 2.4 percent increase among graduate women, and a 1.6 increase among undergraduate men.
Looking to a more positive aspect of the study, the report showed that for those schools that participated in both the 2015 survey and the 2019 survey, there was a significant increase in student reports of their knowledge regarding definitions and procedures with respect to sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Most notably, among undergraduate women, there was an increase of 11.5 percentage points regarding the knowledge of the definition of sexual assault and other misconduct and a 12.4 percent increase for undergraduate men with respect to the same.
Although the study shows that knowledge among college students as to the definitions and procedures surrounding sexual assault and sexual misconduct has increased since the first study in 2015, it also shows that incidences of sexual assault on college campuses have risen as well. While this is a problem that has been haunting higher-learning institutions for years, it is not a problem solely attributable to higher-learning institutions– sexual assault is, unfortunately, a very common experience among young adults, both on campus and off.
Sexual Harassment Lawyers At McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Advocate For Victims Of Sexual Harassment
If you have experienced sexual harassment, assault on campus, or sexual misconduct in the workplace, contact the dedicated Red Bank sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your case. Our team of compassionate and hard-working lawyers is here to help. Call our Red Bank office today at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, or contact us online. From our Red Bank and Marlton, New Jersey offices, we represent clients throughout the state.