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New national survey finds 'significant levels of sexual misconduct' on college campuses

Posted at 5:19 PM, Oct 16, 2019

The Association of American Universities has released results of a survey they conducted looking into the sexual assault and sexual misconduct climate on college campuses.

The survey is a follow-up to the organization's campus climate survey in 2015 and campus activities survey in 2017, and on a much larger scale. According to the AAU, 181,752 students participated in the survey from 33 colleges and 32 AAU member schools. In 2015, they had 150,072 respondents.

Of the students surveyed in the 2019 study, nearly 60 percent were undergraduate students while 40 percent were graduate and professional students. Of those surveyed, 53 percent were from private institutions while 47 percent were from public. The survey also states that is has "one of the largest sample sizes of self-identified transgender, non-binary, and other TGQN students ever studied."

Key findings from the study include:

– The overall rate of non-consensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent since a student enrolled was 13 percent, with rates higher for women and transgender, genderqueer and non-binary people, than men.
– In the case of the 21 schools who participated in 2015 and 2019, the rate of non-consensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent increased to 26.4 percent for undergrad women, 10.8 percent for graduate or processional women and 6.9 percent for undergraduate men

"The survey found significant levels of sexual misconduct on campus, disparities in the prevalence of sexual misconduct among different categories of students, and changes from the 2015 results in student knowledge about sexual misconduct," the survey says.

According to the report, women and people who identity as TGQN see sexual assault and other misconduct at the school as more problematic than men do.

In addition, 77 percent of undergraduate women say that it is at least "somewhat" problematic at their school, while 72 percent of graduate women say the same. For those who identity as TGQN, 75 percent of undergrads and 56 percent of graduate students say it's "somewhat" problematic, while 45 percent of undergraduate men and 43 percent of graduate men say it's "somewhat" problematic. You can read the entire report here .

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"The disturbing news from this year’s survey is that sexual assault and misconduct remain far too prevalent among students at all levels of study," AAU President Mary Sue Coleman said. She is also the former president of the University of Michigan. "The good news — made possible by comparing data from the 21 schools that participated in both the 2015 and 2019 surveys — is that students are more knowledgeable than they were four years ago about what constitutes sexual assault and misconduct, how to report it, and what resources are available to victims."

This story was originally published on WXYZ.