Advertisement

Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 177–184 | Cite as

Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus in the U.S.: Four Thought Experiments

  • Emily F. RothmanEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

This article proposes new approaches to sexual violence prevention on college and university campuses in the United States. The author conducted four thought experiments about possible college sexual assault prevention strategies based on personal experience with campus administrators and sexual assault prevention specialists, review of existing research, and conversation with undergraduates and graduate students engaged in sexual assault prevention. Both advantages and drawbacks of each potential new strategy were contemplated. The four thought experiments were: (1) What if campuses stopped investing in sexual assault prevention and invested in fighting structural oppression instead?; (2) What if the mission to change social norms was not limited to campus, but aimed at the macro level?; (3) What if sexual assault prevention experts were trained in consent and pleasure related to kink, anal sex, and group sex?; and (4) What if colleges and universities provided on-campus education and counseling options for people who perpetrate sexual assault? First, encouraging a “root cause” perspective on sexual assault prevention would be strategic and socially responsible, but might be difficult to enact. Second, social norms change strategies that are global, not local, might be effective but might require an unrealistic level of cooperation between schools. Third, more information about consent as it pertains to kink, anal sex, and group sex may be useful components of sexual assault prevention education. Finally, there are too few evidence-based programs for people who have perpetrated sexual assault on campuses. Thought experiments are inexpensive to conduct and may invigorate the field.

Keywords

Sexual assault Sexual violence Prevention College health Thought experiment 

References

  1. Aguirre, R. T. P., & Bolton, K. M. W. (2013). Why do they do it? A qualitative interpretive meta-synthesis of crisis volunteers' motivations. Social Work Research, 37(4), 327–338.  https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svt035.Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous. (2014). OMG BDSM. Retrieved from https://www.stanforddaily.com/2014/01/13/omg-bdsm/
  3. Axinn, W. G., Bardos, M. E., & West, B. T. (2018). General population estimates of the association between college experience and the odds of forced intercourse. Social Science Research, 70, 131–143.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2017.10.006.Google Scholar
  4. Beech, A. R., Miner, M. H., & Thornton, D. (2016). Paraphilias in the DSM-5. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 12, 383–406.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093330.Google Scholar
  5. Benson, L. S., Martins, S. L., & Whitaker, A. K. (2015). Correlates of heterosexual anal intercourse among women in the 2006–2010 National Survey of family growth. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12(8), 1746–1752.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jsm.12961.Google Scholar
  6. Blair, C. S., & Mumford, M. D. (2007). Errors in idea evaluation: preference for the unoriginal? Journal of Creative Behavior, 41(3), 197–222.  https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2162-6057.2007.tb01288.x.Google Scholar
  7. Bonomi, A. E., Altenburger, L. E., & Walton, N. L. (2013). “Double crap!”: abuse and harmed identity in fifty shades of Grey. Journal of Women's Health, 22(9), 733–744.  https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2013.4344.Google Scholar
  8. Breitenbecher, K. H. (2000). Sexual assault on college campuses: is an ounce of prevention enough? Applied & Preventive Psychology, 9(1), 23–52.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0962-1849(05)80036-8.Google Scholar
  9. Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnail, S., Townsend, R., Lee, H., Bruce, C., & Thomas, G. (2015). Report on the AAU campus climate survey on sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Retrieved from https://www.aau.edu/sites/default/files/%40%20Files/Climate%20Survey/AAU_Campus_Climate_Survey_12_14_15.pdf
  10. Carlso, E. (2013). The history of homosexuality. In E. A. Carlson (Ed.), The 7 Sexes (pp. 132–139): Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: intersectionality identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241.Google Scholar
  12. Fleetwood, N. R. (2012). The case of Rihanna: erotic violence and black female desire. African American Review, 45(3), 419–435.  https://doi.org/10.1353/afa.2012.0047.Google Scholar
  13. Gorfinkel, E. (2015). Secretary (2002): Purple pose, indie masochism, bruised romance. US Independent Film After 1989 (pp. 165–175): Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hayes, B. E., O'Neal, E. N., Meeker, K. A., Steele, S. A., Brady, P. Q., & Bills, M. A. (2018). Assessing online strategies aimed at enhancing campus safety. Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace Research, 10(2), 112–122.  https://doi.org/10.1108/jacpr-05-2017-0293.Google Scholar
  15. Head, A. J., & Eisenberg, M. B. (2011). How college students use the web to conduct everyday life research. First Monday, 16(4).Google Scholar
  16. Helmus, L. M. (2018). Sex offender risk assessment: where are we are where are we going? Current Psychiatry Reports, 20(6), 46.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-018-0909-8.Google Scholar
  17. Herbenick, D., Bowling, J., Fu, T. C., Dodge, B., Guerra-Reyes, L., & Sanders, S. (2017). Sexual diversity in the United States: results from a nationally representative probability sample of adult women and men. PLoS One, 12(7), 23.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181198.Google Scholar
  18. Holvoet, L., Huys, W., Coppens, V., Seeuws, J., Goethals, K., & Morrens, M. (2017). Fifty shades of Belgian gray: the prevalence of BDSM-related fantasies and activities in the general population. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 14(9), 1152–1159.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.07.003.Google Scholar
  19. Johnson, B. R., & D'Lauro, C. J. (2018). After brainstorming, groups select an early generated idea as their best idea. Small Group Research, 49(2), 177–194.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1046496417720285.Google Scholar
  20. Jouriles, E. N., Kleinsasser, A., Rosenfield, D., & McDonald, R. (2016). Measuring bystander behavior to prevent sexual violence: moving beyond self reports. Psychology of Violence, 6(1), 73–81.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038230.Google Scholar
  21. Khan, U. (2014). Who's your daddy?: S/M's founding fathers. In U. Khan (Ed.), Vicarious Kinks: S/M in the Socio-Legal Imaginary (pp. 26–53): University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kim, B., Benekos, P. J., & Merlo, A. V. (2016). Sex offender recidivism revisited: review of recent meta-analyses on the effects of sex offender treatment. Trauma Violence & Abuse, 17(1), 105–117.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838014566719.Google Scholar
  23. Koss, M. P., White, J. W., & Lopez, E. C. (2017). Victim voice in reenvisioning responses to sexual and physical violence nationally and internationally. American Psychologist, 72(9), 1019–1030.  https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000233.Google Scholar
  24. Lamade, R. V., Lopez, E., Koss, M. P., Prentky, R., & Brereton, A. (2018). Developing and implementing a treatment intervention for college students found responsible for sexual misconduct. Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace Research, 10(2), 134–144.  https://doi.org/10.1108/jacpr-06-2017-0301.Google Scholar
  25. Liss, S. (2015). Kinky roots: How BDSM crept into fashion and popular culture. Fashion Magazine.Google Scholar
  26. Lorde, A. (1982). Learning from the 60s. Retrieved from http://www.blackpast.org/1982-audre-lorde-learning-60s
  27. MacDowell, E. (2013). Theorizing from particularity: perpetrators and intersectional theory on domestic violence. Scholarly Works, Paper, 769, 1–47.Google Scholar
  28. Marshall, W. L. (1996). The sexual offender: monster, victim, or even man? Sexual Abuse, 8(4), 317–335.  https://doi.org/10.1177/107906329600800406.Google Scholar
  29. McWhorter, S., Stander, V., Merrill, L., Thomsen, C., & Milner, J. (2009). Reports of rape reperpetration by newly enlisted male navy personnel. Violence and Victims, 24(2), 204–218.Google Scholar
  30. Mitchell, I. J., & Beech, A. R. (2011). Towards a neurobiological model of offending. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(5), 872–882.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.001.Google Scholar
  31. Mosher, W. D., Chandra, A., & Jones, J. (2005). Sexual behavior and selected health measures: men and women 15-44 years of age, United States, 2002. Adv Data (362), 1-55.Google Scholar
  32. National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Table 105.50. Number of educational institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 1980–81 through 2014–15, 2014–2015 column. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d16/tables/dt16_105.50.asp?current=yes
  33. Nordin, M., & Almen, D. (2017). Long-term unemployment and violent crime. Empirical Economics, 52(1), 1–29.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-016-1068-6.Google Scholar
  34. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. (2007). Poverty and sexual violence: building prevention and intervention responses. Retrieved from http://www.pcar.org/sites/default/files/pages-pdf/poverty_and_sexual_violence.pdf
  35. Piche, L., Mathesius, J., Lussier, P., & Schweighofer, A. (2018). Preventative services for sexual offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 30(1), 63–81.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063216630749.Google Scholar
  36. Pillai-Friedman, S., Pollitt, J. L., & Castaldo, A. (2015). Becoming kink-aware: a necessity for sexuality professionals. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 30(2), 196–210.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2014.975681.Google Scholar
  37. Pittman, N. (2013). Sex offenders aren't all monsters. Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/sex-offenders-arent-all-monsters?ref=scroll
  38. Polaschek, D. L. L., Ward, T., & Hudson, S. M. (1997). Rape and rapists: theory and treatment. Clinical Psychology Review, 17(2), 117–144.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0272-7358(96)00048-7.Google Scholar
  39. PornHub. (2015). It's all coming up anal. Retrieved from https://www.pornhub.com/insights/anal-searches-increase
  40. Quaife, G. R. (1977). The consenting spinster in a peasant society: aspects of premarital sex in “puritan” Somerset 1645-1660. Journal of Social History, 11(2), 228–244.  https://doi.org/10.1353/jsh/11.2.228.Google Scholar
  41. Quinn, A. (2012). Tufts Kink contributes to dialogue surrounding sex on campus. Retrieved from https://tuftsdaily.com/news/2012/11/14/tufts-kink-contributes-to-dialogue-surrounding-sex-on-campus/
  42. Raphael, S., & Winter-Ebmer, R. (2001). Identifying the effect of unemployment on crime. Journal of Law & Economics, 44(1), 259–283.  https://doi.org/10.1086/320275.Google Scholar
  43. Rothman, E. F., & Silverman, J. G. (2007). The effect of a college sexual assault prevention program on first-year students’ victimization rates. Journal of American College Health, 55(5), 283–290.  https://doi.org/10.3200/JACH.55.5.283-290.Google Scholar
  44. Rothman, E. F., Paruk, J., & Banyard, V. (2018). The escalation dating abuse workshop for college students: results of an efficacy RCT. Journal of American College Health, 1–10.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2018.1431909.
  45. Rowe, L. S., Jouriles, E. N., & McDonald, R. (2015). Reducing sexual victimization among adolescent girls: a randomized controlled pilot trial of my voice, my choice. Behavior Therapy, 46(3), 315–327.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2014.11.003.Google Scholar
  46. Salazar, L. F., Swartout, K. M., Swahn, M. H., Bellis, A. L., Carney, J., Vagi, K. J., & Lokey, C. (2018). Precollege sexual violence perpetration and associated risk and protective factors among male college freshmen in Georgia. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 62(3, Supplement), S51–S57.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.09.028.Google Scholar
  47. Schnepel, K. T. (2018). Good jobs and recidivism. Economic Journal, 128(608), 447–469.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12415.Google Scholar
  48. Sokoloff, N. J., & Dupont, I. (2005). Domestic violence at the intersections of race, class, and gender: challenges and contributions to understanding violence against marginalized women in diverse communities. Violence Against Women, 11(1), 38–64.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801204271476.Google Scholar
  49. Sorensen, R. A. (1998). Thought experiments (Reprint ed. (p. 336). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Taft, C. T., Creech, S. K., Gallagher, M. W., Macdonald, A., Murphy, C. M., & Monson, C. M. (2016). Strength at home couples’ program to prevent military partner violence: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84(11), 935–945.  https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000129.Google Scholar
  51. Thakker, J., & Gannon, T. A. (2010). Rape treatment: an overview of current knowledge. Behaviour Change, 27(4), 227–250.  https://doi.org/10.1375/bech.27.4.227.Google Scholar
  52. Tomazos, K., O'Gorman, K., & MacLaren, A. C. (2017). From leisure to tourism: how BDSM demonstrates the transition of deviant pursuits to mainstream products. Tourism Management, 60, 30–41.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2016.10.018.Google Scholar
  53. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Sexual violence on campus: strategies for prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/campussv-prevention.pdf
  54. Ward, T., Fisher, S., & Beech, A. (2016). An integrated theory of sexual offending. In A. Phenix & H. M. Hoberman (Eds.), Sexual offending: predisposing antecedents, assessments and management (pp. 1–11). New York: Springer New York.Google Scholar
  55. Zinzow, H. M., & Thompson, M. (2015). A longitudinal study of risk factors for repeated sexual coercion and assault in U.S. college men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(1), 213–222.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-013-0243-5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Health Sciences, Floor 4Boston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations