Title

Campus Sexual Violence Prevention Educators’ Use of Gender in Their Work: A Critical Exploration

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Publication Date

7-2017

Abstract/ Summary

Recent studies indicate that sexual violence affects college students who identify as trans* or gender nonconforming (TGNC) at higher proportions than cisgender students with a full 29% reporting an experience with violence in a recent large-scale study. College sexual violence prevention educators (SVPEs) are critical actors in the effort to reduce the incidence of sexual violence, yet little is known about the practices they engage in to support the learning of students of diverse genders, and to educate students about the role of gender in sexual violence. This study explores the practices of SVPEs with respect to gender diversity, and the challenges and strategies they use to be gender inclusive in their work. Using an exploratory qualitative lens, 16 SVPEs were interviewed to better understand how they think about gender in their work, talk about gender as it relates to sexual violence, and deploy teaching and learning strategies regarding gender in their work with undergraduate students. Findings suggest that SVPEs face significant pressures related to compliance with Title IX, and that in terms of their practices related to gender, they occupy a continuum typified by gender defensiveness and unawareness, gender awareness, gender inclusion, and/or gender transformation. Recommendations include advancing opportunities for enhanced gender diversity education and professional development for SVPEs and the need for additional research on cisgender men’s and trans* survivors’ experiences with campus sexual violence.

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