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1 Student Knowledge and Understanding of Sexual Violence: A Case Study at Duke University

By Erica Becker


2 An estimated 20-25 % of women experience sexual assault while at college. In response, institutions of higher education are improving their policies and working to educate students on the issue. The purpose of this study is to examine whether undergraduate students at Duke University know and understand the University’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy on consent and sexual violence. Data gathered from student surveys (n = 320) yielded mixed results on respondents ’ knowledge of the policy. In addition, though students had greater understanding of sexual violence than hypothesized, respondents lacked understanding of the role of alcohol in consent. Statistical analyses showed that men, varsity athletes, freshmen and non-LGBTQ students were more likely to misunderstand sexual violence, as measured through responses to scenario questions on the student survey. Recommendations of this study to the University include adding information on alcohol and consent to the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, improving outreach and follow up for educational programming, and implementing scenario questions in future surveys and training materials

Year: 2015
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