Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Research Blog #3: Three Academic Sources

1) Sexual Assault on Campus: A Multilevel, Integrative Approach to Party Rape

2) The Hunting Ground

3) Campus Sexual Assault: College Women Respond

All of these sources above are helping me find a more narrow topic instead of writing my paper on the broad topic of sexual assault. After reading these articles and also watching The Hunting Ground documentary, I have become more interested in the hardships of a victim. More specifically, victims on college campuses and how they are poorly treated by administration. Universities do not properly handle these cases because they are overly concerned about protecting their reputations. In my paper, I wanted to touch on victim shaming and specific sexual assault cases with fraternities and college athletics. The administration is insensitive to victims and unethical when dealing with sexual assault accusations. Ultimately, they end up unfairly prosecuting the perpetrators and making victims feel helpless and alone. Also, these academic sources helped me become more interested in victims that were mentioned in the articles or that gave me ideas of cases to write about. They prompted me to further my research on Denim Day, Brock Turner, and Lizzy Seeberg's story which I think could also be useful examples in my paper. 


  1. You need to give complete references with MLA bibliographical information. I assume you mean the film The Hunting Ground, which is very good, but not an academic source. It is documentary / journalism. Definitely worth using, of course, and an excellent resource to support your victim-focused paper. You should also look at the book by the same name, which is free through the libraries and ERIC:

    I like this focus and you might look at Missoula also, as I think I recommended last time, as it does a very good job telling the victim's story.

    Ultimately, it would be good if you had some academically-informed way of understanding the victim experience to help make sense of it. For example: why do so many rape victims end up dropping out of school? How might their dropping out connect to the literature on why students leave college generally, which often has more to do with lack of social engagement and the feeling of not belonging to a community (following work of Vincent Tinto) than it has to do with not doing well in academics.

    It would be ideal (though not essential) if you could find an approach that might connect to increasing privatization, broadly understood. So, for instance, the fact that privatization exacerbates social isolation at college or increases exploitation of others or damages a sense of community, etc., could connect to feelings among victims of being taken advantage of, of feeling their connection to community broken, etc.

  2. Searching around for some possible connections between the feelings of rape victims and privatization, I stumbled upon this disturbing story about how some states bill rape victims for rape kits, often because of the financial pressures on hospitals created by privatization:

    This is just one example of how privatization can exacerbate the feeling victims have of being completely cut off from the community's support.

  3. A related issue is that many rape victims blame themselves, following the typically American "personal responsibility" mindset -- or, the flip-side of that coin: how victims can find a route to recovery by joining survivor communities or becoming activists in their community rather than hiding under a rock and disappearing like they might feel like doing. Another issue is how rape victims see their experience as a private rather than public matter, which sometimes is what discourages them from even reporting the crime -- unless (and often until) they recognize that letting the perpetrator get away with this might put other women in danger (which it likely does, as there is research showing that many or even most rapes are committed by serial rapists). These are just some angles that actually do connect to privatization, broadly understood as the withdrawal from a sense of public good or public-mindedness to increasing individualization.