College Men and Sexual Assault: A Public Health Challenge - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1753 Words
Date:  2023-02-03


Sexual assault is an act whereby, a person physically forces another to engage in sexual activity without their consent (Sinozich & Langton, 2014). There are several forms of sexual assault, such as rape, forcible sodomy, object penetration, and coerced sexual contact, among other forms. Sexual assault has been acknowledged as a public health challenge among college students for many decades. Several studies have revealed that more than half of the college men confess being the perpetrators of some forms of sexual assault against the women in campuses (DeMatteo, Galloway, Arnold, & Patel, 2015). Even the researchers who limit their examination through harassment by coercion and force through alcohol and drug impairment find that a good number of college women have experienced sexual violence as a result of some forms of non-consensual sexual contact. The paper seeks to explore sexual assault among college victims and the intervention strategies and approaches that can be applied with survivors of trauma.

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Cohort Affected by Trauma

Sexual assault is a major challenge that affects people across all platforms, especially college students. Indisputably, sexual assaults among college students have received a lot of attention for decades. The attention paid to college sexual assault emphasizes the students' trauma and victimization. Campus students always suffer in quietness due to the stigma that surrounds the assault and the confusing reports on campuses, and the emotions and psychological consequences of sexual assault victim can last for a long period of time (Sinozich & Langton, 2014). For instance, the research by the Association of American Universities (AAU) shows an estimate of twenty-three percent of campus women and five percent of campus men in several universities reported being the victims of non-consensual sexual engagement. Victimization and trauma can lead to a difficult post-assault period the students especially when they are facing a critical decision about their future (Amar, Strout, Simpson, Cardiello, & Beckford, 2014). Sexual assault may make students boycott classes and decrease in grades leading to a change in the study and tremendous adverse effect on their future. Furthermore, the students have to think about how to settle medical bills related to sexual assault, and the worst is when the consequences of sexual assault avert the ability of a student to graduate (DeMatteo, Galloway, Arnold, & Patel, 2015). More imperatively, the students' become traumatic as a result of stress and depression caused by sexual assault and negatively affects their future.

Dynamics of Sexual Assault on College Students

Many students have faced the problem of sexual assault while in college, and most of them often fail to come out and report the cases. College students particularly the female always form the majority of victims given the fact that women are still viewed as weaker sex compared to their male counterparts and they are always the easy target when it comes of sexual assault in college (Sinozich & Langton, 2014). It is instructive to note that sexual assault particularly rape, often cause devastating physical and psychological effects to college students. They are always in constant stress and depression, especially in instances where they do not get professional counseling. Evidence has shown that the college victims often encounter difficulties in reporting their experiences to the relevant persons, and even when they do, they always receive negative responses which affect them further (Sinozich & Langton, 2014). Moreover, myths and misconceptions around sexual assault have been woven in the societal fabric, and most people fail to appreciate the fact that vices like sexism and bigotry are some of the significant drivers of sexual assault on college students. In some instances, college students who are sexual assault victims are often blamed for the sexual assault meted against them, and this always brings negative effects to them.

Micro-Level Intervention

Ecological Model

An ecological model is a model that accelerates the examination of the appropriate factors for sexual assault prevention for the campus students. Precisely, the college environment is one of the basic micro-system that surrounds the students during their studies. Collages are designed to provide preventive education and assistance services to high-risk students. The college environment can contribute to the risks or the protection of sexual assault. The risks may include the use of a substance in the dorm, while protection may include residential advisor, sexual violence prevention campaign, and adequate security personnel within the college (DeMatteo, Galloway, Arnold, & Patel, 2015). The study was to examine the perceptions of students concerning sexual violence and services. The study found that most of the sexual assault on the campus is contributed by the use of substances such as alcohol and drug abuse. Resources like prevention education should be strengthened, including post-assault interventions.

Bystander Intervention

The use of bystander intervention in addressing the concept of college sexual assault has rapidly increased in recent years. This investigation examines the relationship between the bystander intervention behavior and factors such as the administration response to sexual assault, peer norms supportive of sexual assault and the sense of community (Amar, Strout, Simpson, Cardiello, & Beckford, 2014). The study found that both the perception of administration response and the peer norms of supportive sexual assault are significantly associated with the bystander intervention. There are no important effects related to the sense of college community concerning sexual assault on the campus. The study recommends the contribution of knowledge based on factors associated with bystander intervention approaches, and encourage colleges to make the bystander programs more effective and efficient.


Theatre for Social Change

The research explores the experiences of the college students contributing to peer education, theatre-based, and the sexual assault prevention presentation. The study used two models of theatre for social change theory and practice. The two models include; Theatre for dialogue, conflict, and community, and the Theatre of the Oppressed. The models stressed on a collaborative style of leadership and the process which involved subverting of the social norms, the ethic of care, and collaboratively constructing communal knowledge (Amar, Strout, Simpson, Cardiello, & Beckford, 2014). The result revealed valuable outcomes for future practice and for more research development on addressing the issues of college sexual assault.

Social-Ecological Model

Main Ideas and Objectives

The social-ecological model effectively highlights the interconnection between individual victims, relationship, community, and different societal factors concerning the sexual assault among college victims. The key objective of the model is to develop a deeper understanding of sexual assault and the impact of expected mitigation strategies (Dills, Fowler, & Payne, 2016). The model assists in understanding and evaluating the various factors that put college students at risk of sexual assault and offer strategies that would prevent them from experiencing such acts. The central idea of the model is that the different levels that it encompasses must be thoroughly explored to achieve the objective of sexual assault prevention (Ali & Naylor, 2013). The model is independently effective because good results are often yielded by acting on the multiple levels of the model.

Managing Reactions to Trauma

Individual Level

At this level, the model helps in identifying different factors such as personal history, attitudes, and biological, among others, that increases the risk of sexual assault. Understandably, these factors are often attributed to the high prevalence of sexual assault among college students. The strategy espoused by the model is to promote beliefs and behaviors that will help in enhancing equality and respect among the individuals in the society (Dills, Fowler, & Payne, 2016). The prevention activities that advocated at this level are to encourage students to challenge sexual violence and ensure that they effectively handle their reactions to trauma and the model assists them in creating an enabling healing environment from their ordeals.

Relationship Level

This phase highlights the relationship between the victims and the peers, family members, and the intimate partners, among others and how they influence sexual assault among college students. The model suggests that the victims should develop a healthy relationship to help them manage the effects of trauma and assists them in their healing process (Dills, Fowler, & Payne, 2016). The model helps in initiating a bystander project that is instrumental in providing the youth with tools that will help them in influencing their social circles and report behaviors that abet sexual assault.

Community Level

At the community level, the risks are anchored on the relationship between an individual and the community at large, and that may include schools and neighborhoods. The most effective strategy that will assist the victims in managing the reactions to trauma is promoting and enhancing an enabling environment in the community that will mitigate the problem of sexual assault (Ali & Naylor, 2013). This can be achieved by taking an active part in launching an awareness campaign about the effects of sexual assault among college students.

Societal Level

The major influences of sexual assault in the societal level include macro-level factors such as sexism, cultural beliefs, poor policies, and societal norms, among others (Wilson, Critelli, & Rittner, 2015). Helping the college victims manage trauma, therefore, will involve taking an active role in promoting policies and cultural beliefs that will be significant in mitigating sexual assault among college students.

Implementation Challenges of the Model

The major challenge to the social-ecological model is that developing effective interventions often requires that all the levels of the model are addressed and this is not always possible. Moreover, interventions for the multiple levels are costly, and this impedes the attainment of the model's objectives (Ali & Naylor, 2013). In instances where the interventions are carried concurrently, there may be a conflict among the different levels in the model. Concerning the college victims and the effects of sexual assault such as trauma, the model faces the challenge of identifying the intervention strategy that will effectively help them in managing such effects (Wilson, Critelli, & Rittner, 2015).

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Model

The key strength of the model is its ability to challenge and provide an insight on the prevalence of sexual assault and the major influences at different levels and hence assists in developing effective strategies that will help mitigate the vice (Dills, Fowler, & Payne, 2016). Moreover, it allows the integration of the individual and environmental factors and helps the college sexual assault victims in promoting safety measures that would go a long way in curbing the problem. Concerning the weaknesses, the model sometimes fails to effectively develop intervention strategies that can mitigate sexual violence among college students. Also, the model is replete with gaps concerning the effects of sexual assault such as trauma which makes it ineffective.


Sexual assault is a major issue in the society and college students in particular often get affected by trauma, and they often de...

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