Objective: Researchers compared rape victimization based on self-identification to the current, federal legal definition in a pilot study of college students. Methods: The sample was comprised of 1,648 (69.8% female; 30.2% male) college students who completed the SES-SFV online. Results: Based on the current, legal definition of rape, 9.4% (11.1% female; 5.2% male) of students had been raped since being enrolled, but only 2.9% of students self-identified as being raped. Moreover, 15.1% of students reported ever being raped, with females acknowledging higher rates (19.7%) than males (4.3%). Conclusions: Rape continues to be a major issue for colleges and universities. A serious concern is the disparity between the number of those who met the behavioral criteria for rape victimization based on the current, legal definition, but who did not self-identify as a victim. Universities must address this disparity by using multiple measures to assess the prevalence of sexual violence on campus.
Journal of American College Health
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