Earlier today, the Association of American Universities released a study about the prevalence of sexual assault on 27 campuses across the US. One of those campuses is the University of Texas, one of the largest universities in the country (the largest, maybe?).
As I was looking through the results of the survey, I noticed something about a particular group: transgender, genderqueer or nonconforming, questioning students or students who chose not to list any gender designation (shortened to TGQN moving forward).
Here are the sentences in UT’s report that mention TGQN students:
- For the AAU survey approximately 1 percent of the students selected a non-male/female category. While this is a small percentage, the large number of responses to the AAU survey permits estimating rates for this group with adequate statistical precision.
- Fewer TGQN students believe that it is very or extremely likely that a student would be supported by other students after making a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.
- Overall, a notably higher percentage of TGQN students believe that there would be retaliation against the victim in the event of a report.
- TGQN students were least likely to believe that a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct would be taken seriously.
- Fewer TGQN students, overall, believe that a victim would be protected by campus officials after making a report.
- Overall, fewer TGQN students believe that there would be a fair investigation.
- Fewer TGQN students, overall, 11 believe that campus official would take action to address factors that may have led to the sexual assault or sexual misconduct.
- Overall, TGQN students indicated that they suspected a friend has been sexually assaulted in much higher proportions.
- More TGQN students, overall, witnessed someone acting in a sexually violent or harassing manner.
- Overall, higher proportions of TGQN students believe that sexual assault or sexual misconduct is very or extremely problematic at this university.
- Overall, a much larger proportion of TGQN students indicate that they have been sexually harassed while a student at University of Texas.
I understand why we focus so heavily on undergraduate women. By sheer number, they are the most victimized group on a college campus. By percentages, however, TGQN students at the University of Texas have a much bleaker picture of the problem of sexual violence than any other group.
The experiences of TGQN students need to be recognized and acknowledged so that moving forward, as people start trying to find and implement solutions to mitigate this kind of violence, those solutions do not ignore a group that so desperately needs them.