Sexual Assault on College Hookups: Risk Factors and Tipping Points for Female Survivors

Jessie Ford, New York University (NYU)

Sexual assault of women on college campuses is of pressing interest in the U.S. Research on this topic is instrumental in determining whether we are witnessing a crisis, as media coverage suggests. Using a unique dataset focused on college “hookup” behaviors, I examine social and demographic predictors of sexual assault for college women during a recent hookup. My analysis expands upon past estimates by using incremental measures of risk factors to provide a better understanding of “tipping points” for increased risk. Results show 4.6% of women experienced sexual assault during a recent hookup. Ostensibly, it may appear that heavy alcohol consumption drives sexual assault. However, a deeper analysis shows that once interpersonal relationships are accounted for, the relationship between alcohol and sexual assault is significant for only one form of assault: incapacitated sexual assault. These findings highlight the need to differentiate between types of sexual assault in prevention efforts.

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Presented in Session 27: Intimate Partner Violence and Fertility