A study from Middlebury University over on PsycNET, conducted by Matthew Kimble of the school's Department of Psychology, claims to be the first of its kind on the subject. Although it's a relatively small sample of the estimated 250,000+ American students who have studied abroad since 2007, it's still pretty damn shocking.
Kimble enlisted 218 female Middlebury undergraduates to complete a survey of their sexual experiences, some of whom had gone abroad and others who had remained on campus for the duration of their education. One designated area of the study inquired about any non-consensual sexual incidents in their history, including touching, attempted assault, and rape.
While the results won't necessarily come out of the clear blue sky, particularly considering the doubled undergrad drinking rate abroad, it's still a doozy: the students who had studied abroad were four times more likely to have experienced unwanted sexual contact, i.e. inappropriate touching, three times more likely to be the victims of sexual assault attempts, and five times more likely to have been raped than their counterparts who remained domestic. I mean, Jesus Christ.
Although stats on the specific countries The risk was found to be greatest "particularly in non-English speaking countries," which not only present a language barrier and social differences between the woman and her unwanted partner but also issues of isolation and a lack of knowledge about crisis resources and facilities in the host country, says Kimble.
'College Students Who Study Abroad Found to Be at Greater Risk of Sexual Assault' [WIA Report]
'Study Abroad Increases Risk for Sexual Assault in Female Undergraduates: A Preliminary Report.' [PsycNET]
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