Condoms and Consent: Exploring the Relationship Between Sexual Health and Sexual Violence on College Campuses

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Weisman, Ilana


Goss, Kristin Anne
Rose, Deondra

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College campuses are ripe for investigation about sexual health and sexual violence: students know very little about sexual health and routinely engage in risky sexual behaviors, and one in four women will experience sexual violence while a student. However, if better sexual health leads to increased women’s agency and self-determination, and if sexual violence stems from socialized power dynamics that diminish self-determination, then it follows that increased sexual health should at least correlate with, if not cause, reduced levels of sexual violence. Fittingly, this thesis questions if increased sexual health associates with reduced sexual violence on college campuses. To investigate this connection, I analyze 59 members of the American Association of Universities by compiling data about their sexual health promotion, sexual violence prevention, and medical resources, as well as their Clery Act Compliant reported rates of sexual violence. I use a statistical approach to draw correlations and posit relationships between indicators of a campus’s sexual health and its reported rates of sexual violence, which I discuss alongside the phenomenon of underreporting sexual violence. This thesis will culminate by providing policy recommendations to universities on how to better their sexual health promotion and sexual violence prevention efforts, as well as to the federal government on how to reform the Clery Act sex crime reporting process to make Clery reports a stronger gauge of campus sexual violence.





Weisman, Ilana (2017). Condoms and Consent: Exploring the Relationship Between Sexual Health and Sexual Violence on College Campuses. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from

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