Date of Award

Fall 10-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Randy Caffey


Sexual assault has been an issue facing institutions of higher education for many years (Office of Civil Rights, 2011). Alcohol plays a role in both who have been victims of sexual assault and who have perpetrated the crime of sexual assault (Crawford, Wright, & Birchmeier, 2008). The purpose of this study was to look at sexual misconduct at institutions of higher education and to determine if substance use, such as alcohol or drugs, is a factor in the incidence of sexual misconduct happening to students on college campuses. The quantitative data section of the study reviewed three years of data from the Survey of College Health and Behavior. Baseline data were reviewed to show the rate of individuals experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact. Almost 6% of students reported they were taken advantage of sexually due to alcohol use. Over 16% reported they had engaged in risky sexual behavior due to alcohol use, and over 3% had been taken advantage of sexually due to alcohol use by others. Over 1% of students reported they had taken advantage of someone due to their alcohol use. More than 18% of students reported using alcohol or drugs to feel more comfortable with a sexual partner. Half of the 12 survey questions asked had an average of over 70% of respondents who had utilized protective factors. For the qualitative portion of the study, seven interviews were conducted with Title IX Coordinators at higher education institutions in the Midwest with experience ranging from one year to 15 years of working with sexual misconduct in the collegiate setting. Four themes emerged from the interviews: consent, communication, programming, and promotion. Based on the findings from this study, students need to be aware of the connection between substance use and sexual misconduct.


Copyright 2017