Specific to African American College Students
Amar, A. F. (2008). "African-American college women's perceptions of resources and barriers when reporting forced sex." J Natl Black Nurses Assoc 19(2): 35-41.
Forced sex is both a public health and a social issue that affects many college women. Despite physical and mental health consequences and the multiple prevention programs on college campuses, most sexual violence goes unreported (Fisher, Daigle, Cullen, & Turner, 2003). The purpose of this research was to explore college women's perceptions of campus resources and to determine the perceived barriers to reporting sexual violence. After IRB approval, African-American women (N = 144) who attend a private college in the south completed a researcher-developed survey. Findings included percentages of reporting sexual violence to campus health, student services, and campus security. Significant factors that were associated with reporting sexual violence included having injuries, if they were drinking at the time, having a designated person on campus to handle sexual assault, having time to go to the authorities, and the perception of how one would be treated. Reporting of forced sex is necessary so that individuals have access to resources and support. Prevention strategies can include education that targets significant perceptions of resources and the elimination or minimization of barriers.
Amar, A. F. (2009). "Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to reporting of forced sex by African-American college women." J Natl Black Nurses Assoc 20(2): 13-19.
Forced sex is a public health issue affecting many college women. Despite physical and mental health consequences, and multiple prevention programs on college campuses, most sexual violence goes unreported (Fisher, Daigle, Cullen, & Turner, 2003). The purpose of this research was to determine the significant attitudes and beliefs that are associated with reporting of forced sexual experiences. Guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), the study used a predictive exploratory design to explore the association of intention to report forced sex with attitudes and beliefs (Ajzen, 1991). A convenience sample of 144 African-American women who were attending a private college in the south completed a survey. Women who expressed more favorable attitudes towards reporting, perceived reporting as being supported by important referents, and perceived more control over reporting, reported stronger intentions to report forced sex. The analysis supported the utility of TPB in predicting the intention to report forced sex by African-American college women. Theoretically significant and clinically relevant prevention strategies should incorporate important referents, address salient beliefs, and determine ways to increase perceived behavioral control.
Donovan, R. A. (2011). "Tough or Tender: (Dis)Similarities in White College Students' Perceptions of Black and White Women." Psychology of Women Quarterly 35(3): 458-468.
Although intersectional theory and empirical evidence suggest that race impacts how women are perceived, there is a dearth of research on how the dominant culture stereotypes Black women compared to White women. The current study addresses this gap using an intersectional framework to investigate White college students' stereotypes of Black and White women. How these stereotypes fit with stereotypic images found in theoretical/empirical literature was also examined. Analyses of data from 109 White college students revealed that Black women were perceived in ways consistent with the Matriarch/Sapphire stereotypic image (e.g., strong and domineering). This image stands in contrast to current and previous perceptions of (White) women as affective and communal. The impact of the Matriarch/Sapphire image on Black women is likely mixed. Internalizing the strength aspect of the Matriarch/Sapphire could help Black women cope with the negative effects of racism, sexism, and classism. Conversely, being perceived as innately strong and domineering could increase the blame attributed to Black women who are survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence, limiting avenues of support and justice available to these women. It could also lead to a minimization of Black women's mental and physical health problems. Interventions that educate professionals about the Matriarch/Sapphire image could help reduce its negative impact.
Few, A. L. and P. Bell-Scott (2002). "Grounding our feet and hearts: Black women's coping strategies in psychologically abusive dating relationships." Women & Therapy 25(3-4): 59-77.
This qualitative study investigated the decision-making processes and coping strategies that six heterosexual Black college women used to terminate psychologically abusive dating relationships. Leaving was a four-stage process: (a) assessment of the relationship; (b) separation from the abusive partner; (c) reestablishment of social networks; and (d). declaration of self-empowerment. Coping strategies included self-healing resources. Intervention strategies are provided.
Krebs, C. P., et al. (2011). "The sexual assault of undergraduate women at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 26(18): 3640-3666.
Although research has shown that undergraduate women are at high risk for experiencing sexual assault, little research has been conducted with undergraduate women who are attending a historically Black college or university (HBCU). The purpose of this research is to document the prevalence of different types of sexual assault among undergraduate women at HBCUs and make comparisons to data collected from undergraduate women at non-HBCUs. Data on sexual assault victimization were collected from 3,951 undergraduate women at HBCUs using a cross-sectional, web-based survey. These data are compared to data collected from 5,446 undergraduate women at non-HBCUs using the same research methods. Findings indicate that approximately 9.7% of undergraduate women at HBCUs report experiencing a completed sexual assault since entering college. This rate is considerably lower than the comparable rate obtained from undergraduate women at non- HBCUs (13.7%). This difference seems to be associated with differences in alcohol-use frequency. Perhaps undergraduate women at HBCUs drink alcohol much less frequently and are thus less likely to be sexually assaulted when they are incapacitated and unable to provide consent. Alcohol use frequency, while controlling for other factors, seems to have an independent association with the likelihood of an undergraduate woman being sexually assaulted. Implications for the creation and delivery of sexual assault risk reduction and prevention policies and programs are discussed.
Okigbo Whittington, E. Y. (2012). ""The power to say yes": A feminist approach to the examination of Black students' perceptions of negotiating sexual consent in casual sex encounters at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)." Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences 72(9-A): 3060.
The purpose of this study is to examine Black students' perceptions of how they negotiate sexual consent on a Historically Black University. Research that focuses on sexual consent in terms of a means of prevention and awareness of sexual assault does not consider in how ethnicity or race factors into how students negotiate sexual consent. These studies assume that all audiences have the same working definition of sexual consent. With sexual assault on college campuses still rising, there seems to be a disconnect in the area that educational programs are covering. This study takes a qualitative approach to examine how students perceive their own negotiations of sexual consent based on their own experiences. The 20 in-depth interviews focus on how family and peer messages influence how students define sexual consent, and how they communicate about casual sex and sexual consent with their friends and family. The thematic analysis was conducted to apply how the different themes spoke to Coordinated Management of Meaning (Pearson & Cronen, 1980) and Black feminist thought (Hill Collins, 2000). Specifically, Black feminist thought seeks to examine the gender dynamics between female and male students as well as what emerges from these themes of how Black culture influences these gender dynamics in the negotiation of sexual consent. Fourteen themes emerged from the data collection. Each theme related to the various aspects and dimensions of sexual consent and casual sex in terms of negotiations, messages received from family and peers, including messages received from peers at campus events. The results of the study show a cultural difference in the prediction of how Black students communicate about sexual consent as predicted by the literature. The goal is to understand how their perceptions of sexual consent can impact how prevention and awareness techniques are incorporated on a college campus for Black students.
Tillman, S., et al. (2010). "Shattering silence: Exploring barriers to disclosure for African American sexual assault survivors." Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 11(2): 59-70.
National-, community-, and college-based studies have documented the high prevalence of sexual assault among African American women. Although African American women experience sexual assault at alarming rates, they are less likely to disclose or seek help in the aftermath of sexual assault. The purpose of this literature review is to provide a critique of the current literature examining the barriers to disclosure for African American women, such as intrapsychic factors, the damaging effect of an unsupportive response to initial disclosure, stigmatization of African American female sexuality, apprehension regarding racism, and racial loyalty. The authors provide a summary of the literature, gaps in current empirical studies, and needs for future study. Culturally relevant intervention recommendations are described. Finally, implications for sexual assault policy are provided.
West, C. M. (2010). "Resistance as recovery: Winning a sexual harassment complaint." White, Aaronette M [Ed]: 175-188.
(from the chapter) Consider these statistics: in a sample of 100 Black women university students, 52% had experienced at least one sexually harassing act that was perpetrated by a professor during their academic careers. Approximately one-third of female graduate students had received sexual advances, overtures, or propositions that were initiated by a psychology educator, such as a course instructor, academic advisor, or clinical supervisor. These studies indicate that sexual harassment is a widespread, well-documented form of sexual exploitation on college campuses, and Black women and graduate students are among the many victims/survivors. The purpose of this chapter is to attach a name and story to these disembodied statistics. I am associate professor of psychology and the Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Washington. I write, train, consult, and lecture internationally on interpersonal violence and sexual assault, with a special focus on violence in the lives of African American women. But like the anonymous Black women and graduate students in the aforementioned studies, two decades ago, before I became Dr. West, I experienced sexual harassment while pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The details of the harassment that I endured from February 1987 until the summer of 1990 are laid out in the first section of this chapter. In the second section, I specify how my feminist beliefs enabled me to identify and craft a strategy to address the harassment. Finally, I explain how feminism helped me during my recovery process.
Wright, D. J. (1999). "Group services for students of color." Jenkins, Yvonne M [Ed]: 149-167.
(from the chapter) Offers some examples of how groups offered by college counseling and mental health services support students of color at a large state university. In addition, it discusses relevant considerations for addressing the mental health and social health needs of students of color. Case analyses from three types of groups (a psychoeducation group for rape recovery, a psychotherapy group, and an African American women's support group) are offered. Each highlights a particular way in which culture and race contextualize group issues. Examples of how group leaders may effectively manage social and cultural issues in group processes are also offered. This is followed by implications for intervention and training for college helping professionals. Finally, practical suggestions are made for developing and implementing effective multicultural group services for diverse student populations.
Specific to Asian American College Students
Hall, G. C., et al. (1998). "Sexual aggression among Asian Americans: risk and protective factors." Cult Divers Ment Health 4(4): 305-318.
Rates of sexual aggression among Asian Americans are relatively low. It is possible that these low rates are because Asian Americans are less likely than other groups to develop developmental, motivational, and situational risk factors associated with sexual aggression. Moreover, an emphasis in Asian cultures on self-control of sexual and aggressive behavior may serve as a protective factor. Nevertheless, patriarchal aspects of Asian cultures may place some Asian Americans at risk for sexual victimization or perpetration of sexually aggressive behavior. Although Asian Americans may be at less risk for sexual aggression than other groups, interventions that counteract the patriarchal aspects of Asian cultures may further reduce risk.
Koo, K. H., et al. (2013). "The Cultural Context of Nondisclosure of Alcohol-Involved Acquaintance Rape Among Asian American College Women: A Qualitative Study." J Sex Res.
With high college enrollment and increasing alcohol use, Asian American (AA) college women may be at particular risk for experiencing alcohol-involved acquaintance rape. Although AA women have expressed the weakest intentions to report rape when compared to other ethnic groups, cultural factors influencing these intentions remain unexamined. Guided by grounded theory, 17 self-identified AA college women were interviewed about how the average AA college woman would respond to an alcohol-involved acquaintance rape. Despite awareness of benefits of disclosing rape, participants emphasized that nondisclosure would be the normative response. Three themes emerged from participants: institutional, sociocultural, and psychological contexts of nondisclosure. At an institutional level, nondisclosure referenced mental health and police services, which included Asian stereotypes and mistrust of police. Within a sociocultural context, rape nondisclosure focused on negative consequences on relationships with parents and, to a lesser extent, on friendships. Emotional avoidance and not labeling an acquaintance rape as rape were psychological strategies for rape nondisclosure. Participant's conceptualizations of mental and physical health concerns, specifically post-rape concerns, were framed within sociocultural/macrostructural contexts and may not match that of the more individualistic U.S. mainstream conceptualizations of health. Culturally sensitive rape education may be more effective in increasing rape prevention and support.
Koo, K. H., et al. (2012). "Misogyny, acculturation, and ethnic identity: Relation to rape-supportive attitudes in Asian American college men." Archives of Sexual Behavior 41(4): 1005-1014.
Asian Americans have been understudied with respect to sexuality and rape and its contributory factors. Some attitudinal research has shown that Asian American college males tend to hold more rape-supportive beliefs than their White counterparts. Generally, this research treats ethnicity as a proxy for culture rather than examining specific facets of culture per se. The current study incorporated measures of misogynistic beliefs, acculturation, and ethnic identity to investigate these ethnic differences in rape-supportive attitudes. White (n = 222) and Asian American (n = 155) college men read an acquaintance rape vignette and evaluated it on four judgments: how much they blamed the perpetrator and the victim, how credible they viewed the victim's refusal, and to what degree they defined the event as rape. Consistent with previous research, Asian American men made more rape-supportive judgments than Whites. This relationship was partially mediated by misogynistic beliefs for all judgments except the extent to which they defined the vignette as rape. Among Asian Americans, acculturation was negatively associated with all four rape vignette judgments above and beyond generational status, and ethnic identity was positively associated with two of the four judgments above and beyond acculturation and generational status. These findings suggest that cultural constructs are relevant to understanding rape-supportive attitudes among Asian American men, and may be useful for promoting culturally enhanced theoretical models of rape and sexual assault prevention efforts, as well as a deeper understanding of cultural influences on sexuality.
Lee, J., et al. (2005). "Attitudes Toward Rape: A Comparison Between Asian and Caucasian College Students." Violence Against Women 11(2): 177-196.
The purpose of this study is to investigate differences in attitudes toward rape between Asian and Caucasian college students. The Attitudes Toward Rape scale was used to measure beliefs about rape in a convenience sample of 169 college students. Three items regarding stranger rape myths were added. Findings suggest that Asian students are more likely than Caucasian students to believe women should be held responsible for preventing rape and to view sex as the primary motivation for rape. Asians also have stronger beliefs than Caucasians do that victims cause the rape and that most rapists are strangers. This research suggests that outreach programs can play an important role in providing information, education, and prevention regarding rape and that males and Asian students should be target populations for such programs.
Mori, L., et al. (1995). "Attitudes toward rape: Gender and ethnic differences across Asian and Caucasian college students." Sex Roles 32(7-8): 457-467.
Examined attitudes towards rape victims and belief in rape myths across 302 Asian and Caucasian college students. Ss completed various questionnaires related to attitudes towards women, rape victims, self esteem and self identity. Results indicate significant differences across ethnicity and gender. Asians were more likely to endorse negative attitudes toward rape victims and greater belief in rape myths than their Caucasian counterparts; males endorsed greater negativity toward rape victims and more acceptance of rape myths than did females. Asian Ss who endorsed greater acculturation differed significantly from low acculturated Ss. The need for specialized rape prevention efforts is emphasized.
Stephens, K. A. (2009). "Rape prevention with Asian/Pacific Islander and Caucasian college men: The roles of culture and risk status." Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering 69(9-B): 5794.
Rape prevention efforts with college men were reviewed and examined. Several emerging trends and numerous directions of research were pinpointed to develop effective primary prevention with college men who sexually assault women, including: interventions' links to etiology and theory based literatures, best practices for measuring outcomes, unique challenges posed by student subgroups, new approaches being tried, and the state of scientific rigor among intervention studies. Particular subgroups lacking focused intervention efforts included men who use alcohol in a sexually coercive context, ethnic minority men, and men at high risk to be sexually coercive. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of primary rape prevention with college men, with a focus on both men at high risk for sexual aggression and Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI) college men. The first study evaluated the effectiveness of a theoretically based rape prevention intervention with college men who were at high risk or low risk to perpetrate sexually coercive behavior. Participants (N = 146) were Caucasian and randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. The second study evaluated the effectiveness of two theoretically based rape prevention interventions with A/PI college men. Participants ( N = 192) were randomly assigned to a standard intervention, a culturally-based intervention, or a control group. Outcome measures included rape myth acceptance, victim empathy, attraction to sexual aggression, sex-related alcohol expectancies, and behavioral indicators, which were measured at pretest, posttest, and a 5-week follow-up. Positive effects were found for all outcome categories for all men, with the exception of sex-related alcohol expectancies for Caucasian men. Risk status moderated effects. High risk men were generally unaffected by the intervention. A/PI men's effects were additionally moderated by intervention type. The culturally-based intervention evidenced better effects than the standard intervention, with the exception of rape myth acceptance. Results suggest incorporating culturally relevant factors into rape prevention interventions can increase efficacy for ethnic minorities. The development of interventions for high risk men and men who use alcohol in a sexually coercive context are needed. Future rape prevention studies would benefit from evaluating risk status as a moderator and customizing interventions to particular groups.
Specific to Hispanic College Students
Torres-Pryor, J. M. (2004). "Relation between gender role beliefs, acculturation, and rape myth acceptance among a sample of Latino/a college students." Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering 64(12-B): 6381.
The purpose of this study was to explore the relation between rape myth acceptance, gender role beliefs, and the level of acculturation among Latino/a college students. Women's safety on campuses received increased attention when it was found in previous research that those aged 16-24 years had experienced the most victimization. Researchers found comparable incidences of rape of men and women for the Latino/a population, which demonstrated the prevalence of rape among Latinos/as. In this study, male and female Latino/a college students were recruited from history, bilingual education, and counseling psychology courses at a Southwestern university. A total of 324 Latino/a students were included in the study. The author assessed participants' beliefs by utilizing the Sex Role Ideology Scale, the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II and the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale. Multiple regression and simple regression statistics were utilized to identify the relation between level of acculturation, gender role beliefs, and rape myth. The gender differences for gender role beliefs, acculturation and rape myth acceptance were statistically analyzed with the inferential statistics t-test. A significance level of 0.05 was used for all statistical tests. Results indicated that students less accepting of rape myths held less traditional gender role beliefs and traditional gender role beliefs were related to increased rape myth acceptance. Females were less accepting of rape myths and held less traditional gender role beliefs than males. There were no gender differences in students' level of acculturation. The results of the study provide information for clinicians to help Latino/a college students explore their feelings about rape. The results from this study will also provide psychologists with information that will encourage culturally appropriate practice when creating rape prevention programs and clinical interventions. The author also suggests ideas for further exploration of rape myth acceptance and its relation to the Latino/a culture.
Coker, A. L., et al. (2008). "Frequency and types of partner violence among Mexican American college women." Journal of American College Health 56(6): 665-673.
Objective and Participants: The authors studied the prevalence of partner violence, by type, among Mexican American college women aged 18 to 35 years (N = 149; response rate = 85%). Results: Twelve percent of women who reported a dating partner in the past year were physically or sexually assaulted, 12.1% were stalked, and 9.1% scored as psychologically abused. Among those experiencing partner violence, almost half experienced stalking and 89% reported psychological abuse. Few women (25%) who experienced physical violence believed violence was a problem in their relationship. Conclusions: Partner violence was prevalent in this population, and participants experienced many forms of violence. Because few women experiencing physical violence report that violence is a problem in their relationship, interventions must address perceptions of violence and its impact on women's mental and physical health in college populations.