Sociology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Journal of Interpersonal Violence (March 2018), pp. 1–21.

doi: 10.1177/0886260518758332


Copyright © 2018 Colleen M. Ray, Kimberly A. Tyler, and Leslie Gordon Simons. Published by SAGE. Used by permission.


Although college students are at high risk for sexual victimization, the majority of research has focused on heterosexual students and often does not differentiate by victimization type. Thus, little is known about prevalence rates and risk factors for sexual victimization among sexual minority college students and whether the interaction between gender and sexual orientation differs by victimization type. To address these gaps, we examine whether risk factors for three types of sexual victimization (i.e., forced, incapacitated, and coerced) differ by gender (n = 681 males; n = 732 females) and sexual orientation (n = 1,294 heterosexual; n = 119 sexual minority) and whether the intersection of gender and sexual orientation is correlated with these three types of sexual victimization among 1,413 college students. Prevalence rate results revealed significant differences between gender and sexual orientation: Sexual minority females had the highest rates of coerced sexual victimization (58%), and their mean was significantly different from the other three groups (i.e., heterosexual females, heterosexual males, and sexual minority males). For both forced and incapacitated sexual victimization, heterosexual males had significantly lower means than the other three groups. Logistic regression results revealed that child sexual abuse increased the odds of experiencing both forced and coerced sexual victimization for both heterosexual and sexual minority students, whereas increased rates of risky sexual behavior were associated with forced and incapacitated sexual victimization but only for heterosexuals. Finally, heavy drinking increased the odds of experiencing incapacitated sexual victimization for both heterosexuals and sexual minorities.