Critical Criminology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 109–123 | Cite as

A Website Content Analysis of Women’s Resources and Sexual Assault Literature on College Campuses



In an effort to examine how higher education institutions have provided women with resources to handle issues that disproportionately affect them, this study assessed the availability of women’s resource centers on college campuses within the United States, with a particular focus on sexual assault-related resources. A website content analysis was conducted, through which we coded to assess ease of use, clarity, and comprehensiveness of the programs and information made available to women. Although many universities had sexual assault literature, few had women’s resource centers. In addition, the quality of literature and programs varied greatly among the universities. Future research should attempt to explain organizational differences in college responses to the call for resources, as well as examine women’s experiences with resources on campus.


  1. Abbey, A. L., Thomson, L., McDuffie, D., & McAuslan, P. (1996). Alcohol and dating risk factors for sexual assault among college women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20, 147–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, A., & Abarbanel, G. (1988). Sexual assault on campus: What colleges can do. Santa Monica, CA: Rape Treatment Center Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center.Google Scholar
  3. Aiken, M., Vanjani, M., Baishali, R., & Martin, J. (2003). College student internet use. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 20, 182–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. American College Health Association. (2004). Healthy Campus 2010: Making it happen. Baltimore, MD: American College Health Association.Google Scholar
  5. Armstrong, E. A., Hamilton, L., & Sweeney, B. (2006). Sexual assault on campus: A multilevel, integrative approach to party rape. Social Problems, 53, 483–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bohmer, C., & Parrot, A. (1993). Sexual assault on campus: The problem and the solution. New York: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  7. Bondurant, B. (2001). University women’s acknowledgement of rape. Violence Against Women, 7(3), 294–314.Google Scholar
  8. Burt, M. (1991). Rape myths and acquaintance rape. In A. Parrot & L. Bechhofer (Eds.), Acquaintance rape the hidden crime (pp. 26–40). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Byrne, K. Z. (2000). The role of campus-based women’s centers. Feminist Teacher, 13, 48–61.Google Scholar
  10. DeKeseredy, W., & Schwartz, M. (1998). Woman abuse on campus: Results from the canadian national survey. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. DeKeseredy, W. S., Schwartz, M. D., & Alvi, S. (2000). The role of profeminist men in dealing with woman abuse on the Canadian college campus. Violence Against Women, 6(9), 918–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Escoffery, C., Miner, K. R., Adame, D. D., Butler, S., McCormick, L., & Mendell, E. (2005). Internet use for health information among college students. Journal of American College Health, 53(4), 183–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Federal ruling says colleges and universities can’t silence rape victims. (2004). Black Issues in Higher Education, 21(14), 15–16.Google Scholar
  14. Fisher, B., Cullen, F., & Turner, M. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women: Findings from two national-level studies. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Stastics.Google Scholar
  15. Garrett-Gooding, J., & Senter, R. (1987). Attitudes and acts of sexual aggression on a university campus. Sociological Inquiry, 59, 348–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gilbert, N. (1991). The phantom epidemic of sexual assault. Public Interest, 103, 54–64.Google Scholar
  17. Hayes-Smith, R. M., & Levett, L. M. (2007, November). Sexual assault resources on campus: Availability and adequacy. Paper presented at the 59th annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  18. Karjane, H. M., Fisher, B. S., & Cullen, F. T. (2002). Campus sexual assault: How America’s institutions of higher education respond. Final report, NIJ Grant #1999-WA-VX-0008. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc.Google Scholar
  19. Kasper, B. (2004). Campus-based women’s centers: A review of problems and practices. Affilia, 19, 185–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Koss, M. P., Gidcyz, C. A., & Wisniewski, W. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 162–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Martell, D., & Avitabile, N. E. (1998). Feminist community organizing on a college campus. Affilia, 13, 393–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morse, S. (2000). A license for bias: Sex discrimination, schools, and Title IX. Newton, IA: American Association of University Women.Google Scholar
  23. National Advisory Council on Women’s Educational Programs. (1981). Title IX: The half full, half empty glass. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  24. National Institute of Justice. (2005). Sexual assault on campus: What colleges and universities are doing about it. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  25. Potter, R. H., Krider, J. E., & McMahon, P. M. (2000). Examining elements of campus sexual violence policies: Is deterrence or health promotion favored? Violence Against Women, 6, 1345–1362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Roiphe, K. (1993). The morning after: Sex, fear, and feminism on campus. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  27. Schwartz, M. D., & Leggett, M. S. (1999). Bad dates or emotional trauma?: The aftermath of campus sexual assault. Violence against Women, 5, 251–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Thomson-Peterson’s 4-year Colleges (2004). (34th ed.). Lawrenceville, NJ: Thomson-Petersons.Google Scholar
  29. Ullman, S. E., & Filipas, H. H. (2001). Predictors of PTSD symptom severity and social reactions in sexual assault victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 14(2), 369–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. U.S. Department of Justice (2008) Uniform crime report. Retrieved from
  31. U.S. Universities by state (n.d). Retrieved January 5, 2006, from University of Texas, Web site:
  32. Ward, S., Chapman, K., Cohn, E., White, S., & Williams, K. (1991). Acquaintance rape and the college social scene. Family Relations, 40, 65–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Criminology & LawUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations