New study explores sexual assault victimization among bisexual, gay college students

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A new study of sexual assault on college campuses found that nearly 2 of every 5 bisexual female college students experienced sexual assault after four years in college. About 1 in 4 gay and bisexual men are victims of sexual assault during college, which is similar to the frequency reported by heterosexual women, according to the study published in the journal Violence and Gender, from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Violence and Gender website until June 30, 2016.

In the article "Sexual Assault Victimization Among Straight, Gay/Lesbian, and Bisexual College Students," Jessie Ford and José Soto-Marquez, New York University, identified Greek life (participation in fraternities or sororities) as a factor strongly linked to a higher prevalence of sexual assault for most of the student groups studied.

"We cannot tolerate the sexual assault of any group of men or women on our college campuses," says Violence and Gender Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.) Director of the Forensic Sciences Program, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. "Sexual assault is a very underreported crime for a wide range of reasons, and it is underreported when it occurs on college and university campuses as well."

"To really understand the breadth and depth of this problem, it is critical to understand the victimology of sexual assault, and that it includes all students, not just heterosexual females," Dr. O'Toole continues. "As difficult as it can be for any college student to come forward following a sexual assault because they are afraid, intimidated, or ashamed, it can be even more so for bisexual females and gay and bisexual males who are at risk for this crime at similar rates as heterosexual females, according to this important study. We have to do so much more for all students to encourage them to come forward and report what happened - no matter what their gender or sexual orientation. No one is immune from this hideous crime."

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