Unsafe in the Ivory Tower: The Sexual Victimization of College Women

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Overview

An unprecedented look at college women’s risks of and experiences with sexual victimization

Unsafe in the Ivory Tower examines the nature and dimensions of a salient social problem—the sexual victimization of female college students today, and how women respond when they are, in fact, sexually victimized. The authors discuss the research that scholars have conducted to illuminate the origins and extent of this controversial issue as well as what can be done to prevent it. Students and other interested readers learn about the nature of victimization while simultaneously gaining an understanding of the ways in which criminologists, victimologists, and social scientists conduct research that informs theory and policy debates.

Key Features

  • Provides detailed information about sexual victimization on college campuses today
  • Introduces broad lessons about the interactions of ideology, science and methodology, and public policy
  • Integrates current data, research, and theory, based on the authors’ national studies of more than 8,000 randomly selected female college students

Intended Audience

This supplemental text is ideal for courses such as Sex Crimes, Violence and Abuse, Victimology, Gender and Crime, Sociology of Violence, Sociology of Women, and the Sociology of Sex and Gender in departments of criminology, criminal justice, sociology, and women’s studies. It is also useful for those involved in studying or creating public policy related to this issue and for those interested in sexual victimization on campuses generally.

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Editorial Reviews

Walter S. DeKeseredy
"Based on rigorous survey research that meets the highest scientific standards, this timely book challenges the notion that colleges are "ivory towers" or peaceful sanctuaries from the "real world." Fisher, Daigle, and Cullen make it completely clear that a substantial number of women on college campuses experience serious harms that would fit most states' definitions of felony rape or sexual assault. This book is mandatory reading for anyone seeking a rich, empirically informed understanding of one of society's most compelling social problems."
Carol E. Jordan
"Unsafe in the Ivory Tower is a major contribution at multiple levels. It advances the body of knowledge and strengthens the empirical rigor in a vital area of research. The book will also serve as a critical policy resource for colleges and universities who are tasked with providing environments for safe living and learning by our nation’s young women. Its finest contribution, however, will be evidenced in the lives of women across this country whose experience of higher education may be safer and unstained by exposure to sexual violence. "
Walter S. De Keseredy
"Based on rigorous survey research that meets the highest scientific standards, this timely book challenges the notion that colleges are "ivory towers" or peaceful sanctuaries from the "real world." Fisher, Daigle, and Cullen make it completely clear that a substantial number of women on college campuses experience serious harms that would fit most states' definitions of felony rape or sexual assault. This book is mandatory reading for anyone seeking a rich, empirically informed understanding of one of society's most compelling social problems. "
Amy I. Cass
"Thought provoking....Some of the most comprehensive, evidence-based research on campus violence against women, with a refreshing look at potential strategies. With eye-opening, hard scientific data, this book answers most of the quintessential questions and will no doubt play a pivotal role in future research and prevention."
Amy Brown
Unsafe in the Ivory Tower is truly a comprehensive overview and analysis of sexual victimization. It is theoretically grounded and provides an extensive and critical review of sexual victimization research, both within and beyond the ivory tower.
Amy L. Brown
Unsafe in the Ivory Tower is truly a comprehensive overview and analysis of sexual victimization. It is theoretically grounded and provides an extensive and critical review of sexual victimization research, both within and beyond the ivory tower.
Catherine D. Marcum
"While there is not a lack of books and articles available that discuss sexual victimization, this particular text provides a valuable contribution to the literature as it focuses on an often ignored victim of this offense. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412954761
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie S. Fisher is a Professor in the Division of Criminal Justice and Research Fellow in the Center for Criminal Justice Research at the University of Cincinnati. Professor Fisher received her Ph.D. (1988) in Political Science from Northwestern University. She is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of sexual, violent and stalking victimization of college women, including repeat victimization, self-protection effectiveness, and fear of crime, and how post-secondary schools’ respond to reports of sexual victimization. She has authored more than 150 publications in national and international peer-reviewed criminology, criminal justice, crime prevention, gerontology, legal, medical, methodological, nursing, urban planning, public administration, psychology, security, and victimology periodicals. She also has edited three volumes that focus on victimization issues: Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention; Campus Crime (with Steven P. Lab); Legal, Social and Political Perspectives, 2nd edition (with John Sloan, III); Violence Against Women and Family Violence; and Developments in Research, Practice, and Policy. She has been the co-editor of the Security Journal since 1998. She has served as the Deputy Editor of Justice Quarterly and since 2008 has been the Associate Editor of the Journal of Research Crime and Delinquency. She has been the Principal Investigator or Co-PI on several U.S. Department of Justice grants examining a range of college student victimization issues and on a grant from the British Home Office to examine college student victimization in the East Midlands, United Kingdom. Currently she is a Co-PI on a National Institute of Health grant examining forensic sexual examinations and the use of digital images and staining techniques to enhance the detection of injuries and the use of digital images in decision making among the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and juries in the criminal justice process.

Leah E. Daigle is Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Georgia State University. She received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati in 2005. Her most recent research has centered on repeat sexual victimization of college women and the responses that women use during and after being sexually victimized. Her other research interests include the development and continuation of offending over time and gender differences in the antecedents to and consequences of criminal victimization and participation across the life-course. She is co-author of Criminals in the Making: Criminality Across the Life Course and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles that have appeared in Justice Quarterly; Journal of Quantitative Criminology; Victims and Offenders; and the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Francis T. Cullen is Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, where he also holds a joint appointment in sociology. He received a Ph.D. in sociology and education from Columbia University. Professor Cullen has published over 300 works in the areas of corrections, criminological theory, white-collar crime, public opinion, the measurement of sexual victimization, and the organization of criminological knowledge. His recent works include Challenging Criminological Theory: The Legacy of Ruth Rosner Kornhauser, Sisters in Crime Revisited: Bringing Gender into Criminology (in Honor of Freda Adler), The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory, The American Prison: Imagining a Different Future, Reaffirming Rehabilitation (30th Anniversary Edition), and Correctional Theory: Context and Consequences. Professor Cullen is a Past President of the American Society of Criminology and of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. In 2010, he received the ASC Edwin H. Sutherland Award.

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Table of Contents

1. The Discovery of Sexual Victimization
Beyond Real Rape
Sexual Victimization in Context
The Hidden Figure of Rape
Specially Designed Victimization Surveys
Koss’s Sexual Experiences Survey
One in Four: Publicizing the Rape Epidemic
Two Critiques
What’s Ahead
2. Beyond the Culture Wars: The Measurement of Sexual Victimization
The National Crime Victimization Survey
How the NCVS Measures Victimization
The First Step in Measuring Sexual Victimization: The NCVS Screen Questions
The Second Step in Measuring Sexual Victimization: The NCVS Incident Report
Measuring Sexual Victimization: The Next Generation
The National Women’s Study
The National Violence Against Women Survey
The National College Women’s Sexual Victimization Study
Revisiting the Koss-Gilbert Debate
Comparing Two Studies
Conclusion
3. The Risk of Rape: Unsafe in the Ivory Tower?
Coming to College as a Rape Victim
Rape During the College Years: Koss Revisited
The National College Women’s Sexual Victimization Study
Is College a Risk Factor?
Forms of Rape
The Role of Drugs and Alcohol
Conclusion
4. Beyond Rape: The Pervasiveness of Sexual Victimization
Moving Beyond the Study of Rape
Categorizing Sexual Victimization
Sexual Coercion
Unwanted Sexual Contact
Non-Contact Sexual Abuse
Conclusion
5. It Happened Again: Sexual Revictimization
Crime Revictimization
Sexual Revictimization
Sexual Revictimization Among College Women: The NCWSV Study
Why Does Sexual Revictimization Occur?
Findings from the NCWSV Study
Conclusion
6. Victim Secrets: Acknowledging and Reporting Sexual Victimization
Acknowledging Victimization
What Do Unacknowledged Victims Call It?
Consequences of Acknowledgement
Factors Related to Acknowledgement
Reporting Sexual Victimization to the Police
The Importance of Reporting
Why Don’t College Women Report Sexual Victimization?
Factors That Influence Reporting
Reporting to Other People: Telling Friends
Conclusion
7. Being Pursued: The Stalking of Female Students
Opportunities for Stalking
Research on the Extent of Stalking
Measuring Stalking in the NCWSV Study
The Extent of Stalking
The Nature of Stalking
Who Is At Risk of Being Stalked?
How Do Victims React?
Conclusion
8. Creating Safe Havens: Preventing Sexual Victimization
Two Themes
Three Approaches for Preventing Victimization
Opportunity-Reduction Approach: Situational Crime Prevention
Preventing Stalking
Conclusion

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