Catálogo general Salud sexual
How do college students talk about sexual assault?
ResumenSexual assault perpetrated by acquaintances in social/dating situations (such as parties, bars or sporadic encounters) is frequent among college students. With only a few exceptions, studies on this topic have been carried out using quantitative methodologies. Yet such work cannot capture the complexities of young people’s perceptions of sexual assault. In this study we explored college students’ talk about non-consensual sexual encounters. Fourteen Spanish undergraduate students took part in two single-gender focus groups, which were subjected to a thematic analysis. Six themes emerged from the analysis. Overall, there were differences between men and women in several themes, especially those related to the causes of sexual assaults. Women referred to miscommunication and socio-cultural factors, whereas men mentioned factors related to the perpetrator, such as his personality or the existence of a psychological disorder. Implications of these findings for reducing sexual assault against women and designing rape prevention programmes are discussed along with suggestions for future research.