Back in 2008, a survey called the “Sexual Experiences Survey” was conducted throughout the campus of Princeton University. The survey consisted of 17 questions, all multiple choice and was conducted in an effort to gage how frequently unwanted sexual acts were occurring and to measure “behaviors that meet legal definitions of various sex crimes,” reports the Daily Princetonian.
The survey, which was conducted on 1,595 graduate and undergraduate students, found that 1 in 6 of Princeton’s female undergraduate students had at one point or another, experienced “non-consensual vaginal penetration” during their time at the university. Out of the 809 female undergraduate students who filed out the survey, more than 120 of them positively responded to the statement, “A man put his private part into my vagina, or someone inserted fingers or objects without my consent.”
28 percent of the female students surveyed reported that they were touched in an inappropriate manner or had their clothes removed against their wishes. 12 percent reported that they were forced to receive and/or give oral sex. Between the years of 2006 and 2009, 44 cases of forcible sex were reported to School Safety and between 2009 and 2012, five students were penalized for sexual misconduct.
Although this study was conducted in 2008, the results were kept private, until now of course. One can’t say exactly why Princeton decided to bury the results, but Katie J.M. Baker over at Jezebel implied that it may have been Princeton simply attempting to save face.
“If we pretend elite college students aren’t sexually assaulting their peers, the rape fairy will make it all disappear,” Baker wrote.
Amanda Sandoval, Director of Princeton’s Women’s Center expressed that the results were probably never released because they were consistent with national averages.
“Anything about Princeton goes international, practically, and no other universities do that, so does Princeton want to be the one to say that this many of our students are sexually assaulted? I don’t think so. I don’t know that there is a real benefit to releasing it. I think if we had found something very different from the national average, that would be one thing, because that’s a real story. A story that Princeton’s rates of students who have been assaulted is on line with national averages is really not a story, but I mean in this news environment, people would make a big deal about it,” Sandoval said.