Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Violence and Victims 37:4 (2022), pp. 532–546



Copyright © 2022 Springer Publishing Company. Used by permission.


Though high rates of sexual assault are found on college campuses, prevalence rates between studies can vary considerable by gender, sexual orientation, and other student characteristics. Thus, it is unknown whether these are “true” differences for such characteristics or if there are methodological differences to consider. As such the current study examined whether student characteristics including gender, race, sexual orientation, sexual attraction, Greek affiliation, and relationship status are uniquely associated with reporting on two different sexual assault scales. Data were gathered from 783 college students in 2019–2020 at a large Midwestern university. Results revealed that the two different scales consistently provided different prevalence rates of sexual assault. Moreover, for each type of sexual assault (e.g., coercion, incapacitation, and physical force), there were also significant differences with students consistently reporting higher prevalence rates on one scale over the other. Finally, significant differences were found in prevalence rates across gender, sexual attraction, and Greek affiliated status.