Rachel Gartner

The Spectrum of Campus Sexual Violence Against Women

Sexual violence on college campuses has substantial reach and impact. A notable gap in the current campus sexual violence literature is its exclusion of chronic, “low-severity” forms of gender-based violence known as gender microaggressions. The proposed study addresses this gap by examining gender microaggressions as a distinct form of sexual violence against undergraduate women and as environmental antecedents of legally actionable forms of sexual violence. The study aims to: (1) develop and validate a campus gender microaggressions measure for undergraduate women; (2) identify frequencies and (3) locations of gender microaggressions, sexual harassment, and sexual assault for undergraduate women; (4) assess associations between gender microaggressions and mental and behavioral health outcomes. This mixed methods study will consist of: (1) qualitative measure development in the form of focus groups, expert advisory input, and cognitive interviews and (2) a cross-sectional, quantitative online survey with a diverse sample of University of California, Berkeley (UCB) undergraduate women. Sexual violence prevention is about more than stopping an assault before it happens: it is about changing the culture on college campuses so that sexual violence is no longer a threat.