Interpersonal Violence Prevention Considerations for Sexual Minority College Students: Lower Campus Connection, Worse Perceptions of Institutional Support, and more Accurate Understandings of Sexual Consent
While research has established that sexual minority college students are at increased risk for sexual violence and dating violence, less research has explored their attitudes and beliefs related to bystander self-efficacy, perceptions of institutional support, connectedness to the university, or understandings of sexual consent. These attitudes and beliefs are central to violence prevention and intervention programming and are well-researched among heterosexual students. Minority stress theory suggests that sexual minority people may have different attitudes and beliefs about violence due to these experiences with discrimination. The purpose of this investigation was to explore the relationship between victimization, minority stressors, and sexual identity on bystander self-efficacy, perceptions of institutional support, connectedness to the university, and understandings of sexual consent. Using a subsample of the 2016 Multi-College Bystander Efficacy Evaluation data from one university, data from 542 students were analyzed (271 sexual minority students and 271 randomly selected heterosexual students). Regressions indicated that sexual minority students, compared to heterosexual students, had lower feelings of connectedness to the college, less favorable perceptions of institutional support, and more accurate understandings of sexual consent. Victims of sexual assault had more accurate understandings of sexual consent, but this was not a significant predictor of college connectedness or perceptions of institutional support. These findings suggest a need for tailored prevention and intervention programs that address the specific needs of sexual minority students.
KeywordsSexual minority Interpersonal violence Campus connection Institutional support Sexual consent
The authors would like to thank the Campus Advocates for Prevention Professional Association for their valuable input related to practice implications.
Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at the University of Kentucky. The project described was supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1TR001998. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
Research was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement U01 CE002668. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a supervisory role in the design and conduct of the study but had no direct role in the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publications. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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