Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Research Blog #2: Scouting the Territory

  1. Update us where you stand on your topic idea: I took the advice of Professor Goeller and decided to go with my topic idea #1 which was on sexual assault. This topic would be a better choice for me because I am a lot more interested on this issue and I can find much more information about sexual assault. Additionally, this topic is being more relevant in today's news concerning Title IX on college campuses. 
  2. Tell us what you find online. Sexual Assault, Title IX, Rape on College Campuses, Campus Rape Culture were all things I searched for on Google that gave me useful feedback. The search engine returned scholarly articles, articles on popular news sites, and multiple websites on anti-sexual assault campaign programs. While browsing briefly online, it was surprisingly to see all of the statistics and general information on sexual assault on college campuses that usually isn't presented in the media.
  3. Tell us what books and scholarly articles seem important.  The books that seem important are the ones that seem to have the most views, highly accredited, and the highest rated. Also, the descriptions of the books/scholarly articles help me decipher which ones will be more useful in drafting my final paper.
  4. What ideas about your topic did you get from this search? Some issues that seem important on sexual assault is the lack of conversation about it. There are eye-opening statistics that I believe a lot of people don't know. Another issue is Title IX in today's news and Betsey DeVous reluctance to enforce it. Lastly, there is a lot of conversation about colleges undermining this issue and not providing victims with help or justice.
  5. What resources did you uncover?  Give us at least two specific references or links to things you found 
    1. The first link I found seems useful because it contains sexual assault statistics specifically at college campuses. This website is also very educational because it describes signs of recognizing abuse, prevention, and victim assistance. All of this background information will help me uncover realities and truths about the issue. 
    2. The second link contains important news on sexual assault from college leaders that is relevant in today. Colleges are unsure about how the new Trump administration will regulate an institution's approaches to campus sexual assault. This information is useful because it is current and will effect students like me. 
  6. Did you find any controversies over your topic?  There are controversies over this issue because some universities disregard this major issue because they do not want to damage their reputation or deal with the accusations, victims, or legality of the matter. Colleges feel as though they don't need to strictly enforce Title IX, but there needs to be more of a focus on the campus rape culture.


  1. I suggested the Title IX issue only because it looks like it will be widely discussed right now. Religious institutions (such as Brigham Young) and schools that have invested heavily in football as part of their brand-building efforts (such as Baylor) are especially reluctant to deal publicly with any sexual assaults that might tarnish the reputations and brands that they are building. And no schools really want the negative publicity that comes with sexual assault. Title IX puts pressure on colleges to deal more forthrightly with the sexual assault issue, but there is always push back, and especially now with the pressures created by privatization on schools, forcing them to prioritize their branding and reputation-protection even more than ever, as discussed by the widely cited article Penn State's 'Success with Honor'".

  2. Ultimately, you should find a particular angle to take on the topic of campus sexual assault. Previous students addressing the topic have focused on serial rapists in sexual assaults among college men, the feeling of entitlement in sexual assaults committed by athletes, and the issue of consent in campus sexual assaults that occur between regular "hookup partners." Each had a unique focus or set of issues it addressed, and each was very successful because of that.

    One way of finding an angle on the topic is to begin by identifying a particular case that interests you, and then researching the particular issues that arose in that case. It's especially good if you can find a case that is well documented with specific details made public -- such as the "mattress girl" case that the last student considered.

    It may be that you already know about a case, which is the one that got you interested in the topic to begin with. Or you could look for a case that has features that interest you, such as it being local to our area. There was a case at Rutgers that received fairly detailed consideration in The Targum that might interest you: