Prevalence of Past-Year Sexual Assault Victimization Among Undergraduate Students: Exploring Differences by and Intersections of Gender Identity, Sexual Identity, and Race/Ethnicity
- 1.2k Downloads
A critical step in developing sexual assault prevention and treatment is identifying groups at high risk for sexual assault. We explored the independent and interaction effects of sexual identity, gender identity, and race/ethnicity on past-year sexual assault among college students. From 2011 to 2013, 71,421 undergraduate students from 120 US post-secondary education institutions completed cross-sectional surveys. We fit multilevel logistic regression models to examine differences in past-year sexual assault. Compared to cisgender (i.e., non-transgender) men, cisgender women (adjusted odds ratios [AOR] = 2.47; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.29, 2.68) and transgender people (AOR = 3.93; 95% CI 2.68, 5.76) had higher odds of sexual assault. Among cisgender people, gays/lesbians had higher odds of sexual assault than heterosexuals for men (AOR = 3.50; 95% CI 2.81, 4.35) but not for women (AOR = 1.13; 95% CI 0.87, 1.46). People unsure of their sexual identity had higher odds of sexual assault than heterosexuals, but effects were larger among cisgender men (AOR = 2.92; 95% CI 2.10, 4.08) than cisgender women (AOR = 1.68; 95% CI 1.40, 2.02). Bisexuals had higher odds of sexual assault than heterosexuals with similar magnitude among cisgender men (AOR = 3.19; 95% CI 2.37, 4.27) and women (AOR = 2.31; 95% CI 2.05, 2.60). Among transgender people, Blacks had higher odds of sexual assault than Whites (AOR = 8.26; 95% CI 1.09, 62.82). Predicted probabilities of sexual assault ranged from 2.6 (API cisgender men) to 57.7% (Black transgender people). Epidemiologic research and interventions should consider intersections of gender identity, sexual identity, and race/ethnicity to better tailor sexual assault prevention and treatment for college students.
KeywordsSexual assault Sexual identity Gender identity Race/ethnicity Undergraduate students
The opinions, findings, and conclusions reported in this article are those of the authors and are in no way meant to represent the opinions, views, or policies of the ACHA, the post-secondary educational institutions included in this study, or the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the US Government. This research article was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute on Drug Abuse (awards F31DA037647 to RWSC), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (K12HD043441 scholar funds to HLM), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01AA023260 to EM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (CDA 14-408 to JRB). The American College Health Association (ACHA) administered the data collection process for this study, but does not warrant nor assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented in this article. In the current study, the ACHA had no role in the analysis or interpretation of data, writing of the report, or the decision to submit the current manuscript for publication. RWSC conceived of the current study, executed the analyses, and wrote the first draft of the article. All authors substantially contributed to the study design and analyses, interpretation of results, and draft revisions. All authors approved the final manuscript and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the manuscript, including accuracy and integrity. Current study procedures were deemed exempt by the University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board. This article has not been presented elsewhere, and the authors have no financial disclosures.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This research article was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute on Drug Abuse (awards F31DA037647 to RWSC), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (K12HD043441 scholar funds to HLM), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01AA023260 to EM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (CDA 14-408 to JRB). The American College Health Association (ACHA) administered the data collection process for this study, but does not warrant nor assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented in this article. The opinions, findings, and conclusions reported in this article are those of the authors and are in no way meant to represent the opinions, views, or policies of the ACHA, the post-secondary educational institutions included in this study, or the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the US Government.
Each school’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved the original study procedures, and the University of Pittsburgh’s IRB deemed the current secondary analyses as exempt. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- American College Health Association. (2012). American College Health Association–National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) II: Reference group executive summary fall 2011. Hanover: American College Health Association.Google Scholar
- American College Health Association. (2013). American College Health Association–National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) II: Reference group executive summary fall 2012. Hanover: American College Health Association.Google Scholar
- American College Health Association. (2014). American College Health Association–National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) II: Reference group executive summary fall 2013. Hanover: American College Health Association.Google Scholar
- Brown, E., Anderson, N., Svrluga, S., & Hendrix, S. (2015). ‘I woke up. He was in the room. I didn’t know who he was’. The Washington Post. Retrieved Dec 17, 2015, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2015/06/12/sex-assault-during-college-is-common-and-life-altering/
- Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Bruce, C., Townsend, R., Thomas, G., & Lee, H. (2015). Report on the aau campus climate survey on sexual assault and sexual misconduct assault and sexual misconduct. Rockville: Westat.Google Scholar
- Center for Postsecondary Research. (2011). The Carnegie classification of institutions of higher education. Retrieved June 9, 2015, from http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/
- Chen, L. P., Murad, M. H., Paras, M. L., Colbenson, K. M., Sattler, A. L., Goranson, E. N., … Prokop, L. J. (2010). Sexual abuse and lifetime diagnosis of psychiatric disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 85(7), 618–629.Google Scholar
- Corliss, H. L., Rosario, M., Birkett, M. A., Newcomb, M. E., Buchting, F. O., & Matthews, A. K. (2014). Sexual orientation disparities in adolescent cigarette smoking: Intersections with race/ethnicity, gender, and age. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 1137–1147.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Coulter, R. W. S., Blosnich, J. R., Bukowski, L. A., Herrick, A. L., Siconolfi, D. E., & Stall, R. D. (2015). Differences in alcohol use and alcohol-related problems between transgender- and nontransgender-identified young adults. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 154, 251–259.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. The University of Chicago Legal Forum, 139–167.Google Scholar
- Friedman, M. S., Marshal, M. P., Guadamuz, T. E., Wei, C., Wong, C. F., Saewyc, E. M., & Stall, R. (2011). A meta-analysis of disparities in childhood sexual abuse, parental physical abuse, and peer victimization among sexual minority and sexual nonminority individuals. American Journal of Public Health, 101, 1481.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Grant, J. M., Mottet, L., Tanis, J. E., Harrison, J., Herman, J., & Keisling, M. (2011). Injustice at every turn: A report of the national transgender discrimination survey: National Center for Transgender Equality.Google Scholar
- Institute of Medicine. (2011). The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: Building a foundation for better understanding. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Krebs, C., Lindquist, C., Berzofsky, M., Shook-Sa, B., Peterson, K., Planty, M., … Stroop, J. (2016). Campus climate survey validation study final technical report. Retrieved Jan 28, 2016, from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5540
- Martin, A., Kelly, A., Turquet, L., & Ross, S. (2009). Hate crimes: The rise of corrective rape in South Africa. London: ActionAid.Google Scholar
- Martin, S. L., Macy, R. J., & Young, S. K. (2011b). Health and economic consequences of sexual violence. In J. W. White, M. P. Koss, & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Violence against women and children: Mapping the terrain (Vol. 1, pp. 173–195). Washington D.C: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rennison, C. M. (2002). Rape and sexual assault: Reporting to police and medical attention, 1992–2000. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.Google Scholar
- Sinozich, S., & Langton, L. (2014). Rape and sexual assault victimization among college-age females, 1995–2013. Retrieved Jan 28, 2016, from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5176
- Talley, A. E., Hughes, T. L., Aranda, F., Birkett, M., & Marshal, M. P. (2014). Exploring alcohol-use behaviors among heterosexual and sexual minority adolescents: Intersections with sex, age, and race/ethnicity. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 295–303.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Taylor, K. (2015). Mattress protest at Columbia University continues into graduation event. The New York Times. Retrieved Dec 17, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/20/nyregion/mattress-protest-at-columbia-university-continues-into-graduation-event.html
- The National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project and National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2013). Building cultures of care: A guide for sexual assault services programs. Retrieved Jan 26, 2016, from http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_guides_building-cultures-of-care.pdf
- White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault. (2014). Not alone. Retrieved Sept 5, 2014, from https://www.notalone.gov/assets/report.pdf