A Cultivation Of Rape Culture In D.C., Maryland, And Virginia Universities
Mentor: Kate Drabinski, Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies
The normalization of sexual violence is known in the literature as rape culture. Four year universities in the United States have historically cultivated rape culture. The public has a vested interest in knowing what is or is not being done to dismantle rape culture and prevent sexual assault on campuses, in order to hold these institutions accountable. The scope of this research was select universities within the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. This research recognizes commonalities within the cross populated universities that cultivate rape culture and identify how inconsistent metrics have left universities unaccountable. A social constructionist and mixed methods approach was used to explore how institutional betrayal has exacerbated the problems with campus climate surveys and further distanced people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals from reporting. An archival analysis of university policies, rape culture, and Title IX was conducted, along with a statistical analysis of campus sexual assault surveys. The archival analysis suggests that despite updates to laws/policies, universities have failed to reach their more diverse populations. The data analysis suggests that the differing modes of surveying campus climates has led to statistically insignificant results that cannot affirm that new university sexual violence policies are working.