Getting to the Root Cause of Sexual Assault

Mar 25, 2017 by

Getting to the Root Cause of Sexual Assault”

By Donna Garner


I find it interesting that this so-called earth-shattering report from the U. T. System that stole headlines by saying, “15% of undergraduate women said they had been raped since being enrolled” was actually done through an online survey completed by only 17.1% out of 45,000 UT students.

I have to wonder how truthful these college survey-takers were as they sat in their hidden cubicles filling out a survey. Were their allegations verified in any way with hard evidence by the U. T. study team? 

In fact, to be even more cynical, I have to wonder how many of these 17.1%  remember what happened in those so-called rapes when nearly all participants were so drunk that most cannot remember the details.

Because I believe in getting to the root causes of societal problems, I am wondering why the $1.7 Million U. T. study did not spend most of that money on trying to figure out how to stop the drunken orgies that nearly always accompany sexual assaults in university settings.  Drunkenness is a root cause and is present in nearly every Title IX incident.

What about spending our time and money to help teach young people to be accountable for their choices?  If those choices to get drunk are leading to sexual assault situations (and the research is clear that they do), then why not develop better programs and methods to counter those bad choices?  Why not help college students learn to participate in creative activities that are fun yet safe? 

I think I know why our society refuses to face the root cause of college rapes.  Because so many past-college-age adults drink heavily, they want to avoid feeling guilty and, therefore, refuse to tell college students not to get drunk. Adults need to be adults by example and lead young people to make good choices.

I remember so well when President Bill Clinton in the 1990’s made it his administration’s mission to tackle the cigarette epidemic in this country. They spent billions to expose the health dangers of tobacco and made enemies out of the tobacco industry when it hurt their profit margins. The positive result is that smoking has now been banned in most public places.

Why can we not do the same thing with alcohol? Are we afraid of “offending” the liquor industry which makes billions off the free-flowing alcohol used by college students?


If we truly care about these college students and the growing numbers of sexual assaults, our nation needs to point the finger at the real cause – the alcohol and drunkenness that lead to violence and shattered lives. 


Donna Garner




3.24.17 – Austin American Statesman


“UT survey details data on campus sexual assault, harassment, stalking”


By Brianna Stone – American-Statesman Staff


Excerpts from this article:


The $1.7 million study received responses from 7,684 UT students out of 45,000 invited to participate.


The surveyed students answered questions anonymously and voluntarily online.


…The University of Texas has released the results of a survey on sexual violence and misconduct in which 15 percent of undergraduate women said they had been raped since being enrolled.


…The report also found that among undergraduate women at UT, 28 percent said they were the victims of unwanted sexual touching and 12 percent said they experienced an attempted rape since being enrolled.


According to the report, most students had never told anyone about the incidents they experienced before taking the survey and out of the ones who did share their incident, only 6 percent told someone from university services.


…The $1.7 million study, funded by the Board of Regents, began in May 2015 and received responses from 7,684 UT students out of a total of 45,000 invited to participate, producing a response rate of about 17.1 percent. This survey is part of a larger study that includes data on sexual harassment; stalking; dating and domestic violence; and unwanted sexual contact — across all 13 University of Texas System institutions.


The surveyed students answered a series of questions anonymously online.




The University of Texas survey about sexual violence and misconduct at its Austin campus found:


  • 83% of student sexual harassment perpetrators were male.
  • 81% of faculty/staff sexual harassment perpetrators were male.
  • 22% of female undergraduates experienced stalking.
  • 30% of female graduate/professional students experienced sexist gender harassment by faculty or staff.
  • 68% didn’t tell anyone about incidents of sexual violence or misconduct before the survey.
  • 6% told someone affiliated with the university.




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1 Comment

  1. I put as much stock in this survey as I do being told the Common Core was created by the states. It is becoming cool to be a rape victim today and we all know how young folks want to be cool. I also agree they should spend time and money trying to reduce the ability for these unsupervised kids to get drunk as often as they do instead of studying. I am told by many college students I speak to that cheating is rampant not only in high school but in college as well. So this way they party, not study and get passing grades.