Study Abroad Increases Risk for Sexual Assault in Female Undergraduates: A Preliminary Report
Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Since 2007, more than 250,000 American students have studied abroad annually for a semester or more. While there are obvious benefits associated with study abroad programs, personal risks (including interpersonal victimization such as sexual and physical assault) occurring during the experience have been anecdotally reported but not systematically assessed. This study is the first to investigate the possibility of increased risk for sexual assault in female undergraduates while abroad. Two hundred eighteen female undergraduates completed a modified version of the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES: Koss et al., 2007) about their sexual experiences abroad and on campus. Findings indicate increased risk for sexual assault while abroad relative to on-campus rates, particularly in non-English speaking countries. Study abroad programs should consider educating students about increased risk and develop response protocols when sexual assaults happen while abroad.
Kimble, Matthew; Flack, William F. Jr.; and Burbridge, Emily. "Study Abroad Increases Risk for Sexual Assault in Female Undergraduates: A Preliminary Report." Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy 5, no. 5 (2013) : 426-430.