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Critical and Transformative Methods for Studying Sexual Violence Among College Students Call for Papers

Community Womxn in Student Affairs
February 16, 2022

Critical and Transformative Methods for Studying Sexual Violence Among College Students

Call for Papers

Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education

            Through this special issue of the Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education (JWG) we seek to highlight scholarship focused on methodological or conceptual strategies for engaging in critical and transformative scholarship on sexual violence (SV) among college students. Specifically, we aim to move beyond post-positivist research paradigms and methods to center SV scholarship that utilizes diverse epistemologies and methodologies centering transformative work being done in communities on and off campus. We seek diverse methodological experts from a variety of traditions and positionalities to submit papers for this special issue of JWG that aim to disrupt the current dominant approaches to eradicating SV on-campus.

            Sexual violence (SV) continues to plague college communities. Despite research from various disciplines on sexual violence among college students, rates of SV among cis-college women remain unchanged since 1957 (Cantor et al., 2020; Kirkpatrick & Kanin, 1957). Further, perpetrators target students with minoritized identities, including queer and trans students, students with disabilities, and women of color at even higher rates than their dominant group peers (Cantor et al., 2020). A systematic review by Harris et al. (2020) highlighted similar issues in the literature, including limited diversity of participants, lack of power analysis, and limited methodological strategies for engaging in research about SV among college students. Both studies also identified that psychologists and sociologists publish most scholarship about SV among college students and that the topics covered in this scholarship tend to “mutually construct” themselves (Harris et al., 2020, p. 27), and heavily focus on (female) victimization risk factors, support for victims, and alcohol’s role in sexual assault (Linder et al., 2020).

            As rates of sexual violence remain high, college communities continue to rely on antiquated, ahistorical, and post-positivist methods that erase and smother the diverse and nuanced experiences of students who have experienced sexual violence (Harris et al., 2020; Linder et al., 2020). Further, most research uses college students as a convenience sample, without attention to the unique structures and environments in higher education. In fact, most scholarship about sexual violence among college students is not published in higher education related journals (Harris et al., 2020; Linder et al., 2020). Given the influence of higher education institutional structures, processes, and policies on SV among college students, it is crucial that more higher education scholars engage in research about SV.

            Campus environments continue to transform and shift to address the challenges and injustices of our current sociocultural world, including a global pandemic, systemic oppression, and violence and harm conducted virtually, scholarship must also shift to engage critical perspectives and to eradicate inequity and injustice on-campus. To address SV and inequity in our current epistemic landscape, and for a This special issue of JWG we seek both research papers and scholarly essays that aim to focus specifically on innovative and power-conscious methodologies and practices that eradicate SV. Submissions are encouraged to offer critical and transformative perspectives on campus SV focusing on communities most targeted for SV with thoughtful recommendations and implications for research, policy, and practice in higher education that can assist in eradicating SV on-campus.

Manuscript Submissions

For consideration, manuscripts should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages written in 12-point Times New Roman font and submitted by May 13. Page length includes tables, figures, and references. All manuscripts must be submitted online through http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/naspa_njawhe.

Please include a cover letter clearly indicating why the submission should be considered for the special issue. For more information, please contact Dr. Chris Linder at chris.linder@utah.edu or Dr. Niah Grimes at ngrimes3791@gmail.com.

Deadline for submissions: May 13, 2022

Manuscripts out for peer review: May 14, 2022 – June 23, 2022

Selection of manuscripts for issue: June 24, 2022

Finalize all revisions of manuscripts: October 23, 2022


Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Harps, S., Townsend, R., Thomas, G., Lee, H., Kranz, V., Herbison, R., Madden, K. (2020). Report on the AAU campus climate survey on sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Washington, DC: American Association of Universities. Retrievedhttps://www.aau.edu/sites/default/files/AAU-Files/Key-Issues/Campus-Safety/Revised%20Aggregate%20report%20%20and%20appendices%201-7_(01-16-2020_FINAL).pdf.

Harris, J. C., Cobian, K., & Karunaratne, N. (2020). Re-imagining the study of campus sexual assault. In L. W. Perna (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol. 35, pp. 1–47). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11743-6_12-1.

Kirkpatrick, C., & Kanin, E. (1957). Male sex aggression on a university campus. American Sociological Review, 22, 52-58.https://doi.org/10.2307/2088765

Linder, C., Grimes, N., Williams, B. M., Lacy, M.C., & Parker, B. (2020). What do we know about campus sexual violence? A content analysis of 10 years of research. The Review of Higher Education, 43(4), 1017-1040.https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2020.0029