The UO Sexual Violence and Institutional Betrayal Surveys: 2014, 2015, and 2015-2016

Assessing Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Perpetration, Institutional Betrayal, Student Attitudes, Student Health, Educational Engagement, and Participant Experience with the Survey

Jennifer J. Freyd, Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon


A Note about the Credibility of Research that Reveals Information that May Impact the Reputation of the Instituiton.

It is important to use the tools of science to ensure both solid research methods and credible findings. See:

Freyd, J.J. (2014) Use science as tool on campus sexual assault.  [Op-Ed] The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon), November 9, 2014, p H4.
Full text Here.


The Survey Project 2014

In late summer 2014 two of my doctoral students, Marina N. Rosenthal and Carly Parnitzke Smith, and I administered an on-line survey to a sample of undergraduate University of Oregon (UO) students. This survey, approved by the UO's Institutional Review Board, was designed to assess student experiences of sexual victimization, perpetration, and institutional behaviors, as well as student attitudes and well-being. Data collection occurred during August and September of 2014, prior to the start of Fall term classes. This project is similar to other studies we have completed in our laboratory and it overlaps with the survey recently recommended by the White House.

Our full 2014 survey instrument can be found here.

Scroll down for findings from our survey.

rape rates


The Survey Project 2015 (with Replication using HSP 2015-16)

We administered a second survey in late spring 2015. This second survey included -- but was not limited to -- a full pilot of the ARC3 Survey. In addition we administered this same survey to a different sample on our campus during the 2015-16 academic year.

The data are still undergoing active analysis. Initial results have been presented as follows:

Publications from 2015 Survey Project

Publication from the 2015-2016 Replication Study

Measurement Packets

Research Aims, 2014

We constructed and administered our survey with the goals of contributing to research on the psychology of sexual violence and the behavior of an institution in response; contributing to the current national efforts to create a standardized survey; and contributing to the University of Oregon by providing data to help guide policy and implementation decisions.  We also hope the data will help inform the UO Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence as it arrives at its recommendations for this campus. 

Funding and Budget, 2014

Funds for participant compensation were provided by Center for the Study of Women in Society and private donations made through the UO Foundation. The total monetary budget was $20,000, which was entirely for modest participant compensation ($20 per participant for up to 1,000 participants), a standard survey procedure. University and UO Foundation resources normally available to the investigators, such as licensed software and accounting support, were used. The investigators provided labor (including survey construction, administration, and analysis).

Survey Method, 2014

This survey is based on a compilation of social science survey instruments with a focus on sexual victimization, perpetration, institutional behaviors, and student well-being.  We primarily used and modified existing instruments; additionally, we created some new items specifically for this study. This on-line study was administered by the use of Qualtrics software licensed to the University of Oregon. Our goal was to survey 1000 students. We anticipated a 20% response rate. Five thousand student emails were provided by the UO Registrar on August 19, 2014. These email addresses were selected randomly by the Registrar from the population of degree-seeking undergraduate students who were (as of August 19) currently registered for Fall 2014, who were registered as degree-seeking undergraduates some time during Fall 2013, Winter 2014, or Spring 2014, and who were (as of August 19) at least 18 years old. Between August 27 and September 19 we rolled out email invitations in batches; students had 10 days to complete the web-based survey. (This was late summer for our students; the first day of Fall term classes was September 29.) There was one reminder to students on day 5. Each participant was offered compensation in the form of a $20 gift certificate for completing the survey. We closed the survey data collection on 29 September with 982 completed surveys and 76 partially completed surveys. Survey completion time was estimated to take about 30 minutes per participant. We used Qualitrics "Display Logic" such that questions presented to participants often depended upon their answers to prior questions. A list of measures and an electronic print-out of our on-line survey instrument can be found here.

A Note about Sample Representativeness

One important goal of this study was to get a sample representative of current University of Oregon undergraduates. We thus started with a random sample of emails that were representative of current students. We offered compensation to potential participants in order to increase the response rate and in order to motivate students based on something other than intrinsic interest in the subject matter. Self-selection is nonetheless a factor to consider as a potential threat to representativeness. We will be comparing our sample of participants with the underlying population on demographic variables. In addition we will be comparing our findings from this research to similar findings we have been collecting for many years in our laboratory using the Psychology and Linguistics Departments' joint Human Subject Pool. The UO HSP has the advantage of greatly reducing self-selection because participants do not know the subject matter of the study until they have signed up to complete it. We have rarely had students decide not to complete our research once they do learn of the subject matter through the informed consent process that occurs immediately before participation. This important feature -- guarding against self-selection -- of the UO HSP is discussed in some detail here. UO HSP participants are selected by virtue of taking Introductory Psychology or Linguistics. Although a large number of UO students do take these courses and of those that do almost all participate in the UO HSP, the students in the UO HSP do differ in some characteristics from the general UO undergraduate population. We thus can compare our results from this campus survey to those from the UO HSP in order to evaluate convergence or divergence of findings from studies of UO undergraduates with different sampling strengths and weaknesses.

2018 Update:The replication study is complete and now published

Rosenthal, M. & Freyd, J.J. (2018) Sexual Violence on Campus: No Evidence that Studies Are Biased Due to Self-Selection, Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence: 3,. 1, Article 7. DOI: 10.23860/dignity.2018.03.01.07

Also see: Freyd, J.J. (2015). Examining Denial Tactics: Were Victims Overrepresented in the AAU Survey of Sexual Violence on College Campuses? The Blog, Huffington Post, September 29, 2015.


The Preliminary Results, 2014

At a meeting of the UO Senate Task Force on Tuesday September 30 we first reported some key findings from the survey that seemed relevant to informing the Task Force in formulating recommendations. At the time we explained that it would: " take months to do a thorough analysis of the data.   As this occurs, we anticipate we will be sharing the data in a number of ways in addition to the presentations we make locally:  we plan to submit papers for peer review in archival journals; we expect to present results at scholarly/scientific conferences; and we hope to make the survey instrument and, pending IRB approval, raw data available in open access format as soon as that is feasible.  Our goal is to give this research away in the most complete and transparent fashion possible so that it can best help our local and national efforts to understand and end campus sexual violence.

Peer-Reviewed Publications Based on the 2014 and/or 2015 UO Survey

Gomez, J. M., Rosenthal, M. N., Smith, C. P., & Freyd, J. J. (2015). Participant reactions to questions about gender-based sexual violence: Implications for campus climate surveys. eJournal of Public Affairs: Special Issue on Higher Education’s Role on Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Violence, 4(2), 39-71.

Rosenthal, M.N., Smidt, A.M., & Freyd, J.J. (2016) Still second class: Sexual harassment of women graduate students. Psychology of Women Quarterly. (DOI: 10.1177/0361684316644838)

Rosenthal, M. & Freyd, J.J. (2018) Sexual Violence on Campus: No Evidence that Studies Are Biased Due to Self-Selection, Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence: 3,. 1, Article 7. DOI: 10.23860/dignity.2018.03.01.07

(additional manuscripts are under review)

National Conference Presentations Including Data from the 2014 and/or 2015 UO Survey

Selected results from the surveys have been presented in the following national conference posters and presentations:

Smith, C. P., Rosenthal, M. N., & Freyd, J. J. (October, 2014). Assessing campus climates: The role of institutional betrayal in campus sexual assault research. Presented by Mary Koss at the GSU College Sexual Assault Forum: From Campus Climate to a Coordinated Response, Atlanta, GA, 22-24 October 2014.

Freyd, J.J. (October, 2014). Institutional Betrayal. Plenary presentation at The 31st annual meeting of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Long Beach, California, 25-27 October 2014.

Freyd, J.J., Smith, C. P., & Rosenthal, M. N., (November 2014). Research on Institutional Betrayal: The Case of Campus Sexual Violence. In Symposium: “New Directions in Campus Sexual Assault Research,” at The 30th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), Miami, Florida, 6-8 November 2014.

Smidt, A.M., Smith, C.P., Rosenthal, M. & Freyd, J.J. (August, 2015). Out and in Harm's Way: Sexual Minorities' Health Following Institutional Betrayal and Sexual Assault. Presentation for the 123rd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 6-9 August 2015.

Gomez, J. M., Rosenthal, M. N., Smith, C. S., & Freyd, J. J. (August, 2015). Reactions to sexual violence questionnaires: Implications for campus climate surveys. Poster presented at the 20th International Summit & Training on Violence, Abuse, & Trauma, San Diego, CA, San Diego, CA, 23-26 August 2015.

Freyd, J.J. (August, 2015). Initial findings from the University of Oregon 2015 Sexual Violence and Institutional Betrayal Survey. Presented within the Keynote Panel entitled “Campus Sexual Assault: Current Research and Prevention Approaches” at the 20th International Summit & Training on Violence, Abuse, & Trauma, San Diego, CA, San Diego, CA, 23-26 August 2015.

Research Findings, 2014

Some of the Questions Addressed Results Document


Sample Graphs


  • What did students think about participating in this study?
  • At what rate are students experiencing sexual harassment?
  • At what rate are students being sexually victimized?
  • What do we know about victim-perpetrator relationship and perpetrator gender?
  • Where are nonconsensual events occurring?
  • Does minority status impact risk?
  • Do students report assaults to university sources?
  • How do victimized students experience institutional climate and response?
September 30, 2014 Presentation to the UO Senate Task Force: Preliminary Findings all nonconsensual
  • At what rate are students experiencing rape

October 2, 2014 Update Regarding Percentage of Students Subjected to Rape

rape rates
  • Are students aware when their behaviors and experiences meet the definitions of sexual assault or rape?
  • What have participants observed happening to their friends who were sexually assaulted?
October 3, 2014 Update Regarding Friend Experiences, Institutional Behavior, Experience Labeling  
  • How many nonconsentual sexual incidents did students indicate?
October 13, 2014 Number of Incidents Indicated and Reported, Provided to the University of Oregon AAEO incidents
  • Does affiliation with the Greek system relate to rates of sexual violence?
October 14, 2014 Greek Life and Rates of Sexual Violence fsl
  • At what rate are students experiencing gender harassment? (slides 14-16)
  • Is status of perpetrator as UO student associated with institutional betrayal experienced by victim? (slides 30-33)
  • Is institutional betrayal associated with educational disengagement (e.g. decreases in participation in activities, honor societies, living on campus, etc) following a nonconsensual experience? (slides 34-36)

October 23, 2014 Presentation for GSU College Sexual Assault Forum, 22-24 October 2014*

*This file includes some repeats from earlier presentations. The new material is on slides 14-16 and slides 30-36. The full citation for this presentation is: Smith, C. P., Rosenthal, M. N., & Freyd, J. J. (October, 2014). Assessing campus climates: The role of institutional betrayal in campus sexual assault research. Presented by Mary Koss at the GSU College Sexual Assault Forum: From Campus Climate to a Coordinated Response, Atlanta, GA, 22-24 October 2014.

  • What role do substances play in sexual assaults that occur in the context of fraternity and sorority life compared to other contexts?
  • Are UO student perpetrators more likely to use substance facilitation compared to non- UO students?
November 4, 2014 Update Regarding Substance-Assisted Coercion and Fraternity Location of Assaults fslsubstance
  • Are students participating in varsity, club, and intramural athletics at higher risk for victimization?
  • Do undergraduate participants indicate problem drinking and substance use?

November 21, 2014 special report for the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee*

*new results on slides 11-16



Audio Files of Presentations or Discussions of the Research by the Investigators

Also see:



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