The survey results were released Monday by the elite higher education trade group the Association of American Universities and included responses from 150,072 students at 27 research institutions, with an overall response rate of 19.3 percent. AAU’s survey is one of the largest ever done on sexual violence among college students in the United States.
The results of the survey are on par with a number of peer-reviewed studies of campus sexual assault dating back to 1987, and researchers who’ve looked at AAU’s results say the bulk of it is not surprising. They also note the aggregate data shows there can be a significant variation between schools, and caution that these schools were not selected as a random sample.
The survey touches on several components not frequently found in the existing data on sexual assault, including some of the first research on affirmative consent. It’s also one of the largest studies to query LGBTQ students.