Conceptualizing Women's Fear of Sexual Assault on Campus: A Review of Causes and Recommendations for Change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sexual assault is increasingly recognized as an urgent and pervasive problem on university campuses. Women's fear of sexual assault is similarly significant and widespread. Growing university assault prevention efforts on campus have often over-looked the negative implications of women's fear. Depending on their onus of responsibility, university sexual assault prevention strategies may implicitly reinforce gendered social norms for public behavior by increasing women's fear in public spaces, with consequent detrimental effects for women's positive experience on campus. Based on a conceptualization of fear of sexual assault as a form of social control, this review discusses societal, individual, and university/campus factors (organizational, social, and especially physical) associated with women's fear of assault on campus. In conclusion, it suggests university assault prevention strategies that may also reduce women's fear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-765
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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