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, PhD

Professor Emerit of Psychology, University of Oregon

Faculty Affiliate of the Women's Leadership Innovation Lab at Stanford University

Founder and President, Center for Institutional Courage



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.

Measurement Instruments

Survey Packet used Late Summer 2014 (Registrar sample - undergrads only)
Publications from the 2014 Survey data

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.

Smidt, A.M., Rosenthal, M.N., Smith, C.P., & Freyd, J.J. (2021). Out and in Harm's Way: Sexual Minority Students’ Psychological and Physical Health After Institutional Betrayal and Sexual Assault. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 30, 41-55, DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2019.1581867.

Barnes, M.L., Adams-Clark, A.A., Rosenthal, M.N., Smith, C.P, & Freyd, J.J. (2021).  Pledged into harm: Sorority and fraternity members face increased risk of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence, 6 (1), Article 9, DOI: 10.23860/dignity.2021.06.01.09

Initial Results Presented at Conferences
  Scroll down for more findings from our 2014 survey


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

We administered a second survey in late spring 2015. The UO President's office provided funding for students participating in this survey and for students hired to help adiminister the survey. 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.

Measurement Instruments

Publications from the 2015 Survey and/or the 2015-16 Replication

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)

Sexual harassment compromises graduate students' safety by Marina Rosenthal, Alec Smidt, and Jennifer Freyd, The Conversation, 18 May 2016.

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

Gómez, J. M. (2021). Gender, campus sexual violence, cultural betrayal, institutional betrayal, and institutional support in U.S. ethnic minority college students: A descriptive study. Violence Against Women, Advance On-Line. (DOI:


Initial Results Presented

More about the 2015-2016 Replication Study (Is Self Selection Explaining our Findings?)

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.

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.

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

Also see: Barnes, M.L., Adams-Clark, A.A., Rosenthal, M.N., Smith, C.P, & Freyd, J.J. (2021).  Pledged into harm: Sorority and fraternity members face increased risk of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence, 6 (1), Article 9, DOI: 10.23860/dignity.2021.06.01.09

  • 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:



We are grateful for donations that support our research.