Strangers in the night: Women's fear of sexual assault on urban college campuses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sexual assault and fear of assault plague women students on U.S. college campuses. This study investigates women's fear of sexual assault on campus, using findings from participant photography and open-ended interviews with 38 women students at two midwestern, urban universities. Personal, physical, and social cues for women's fear are described and explained. Three primary types of fear emerge: fear of stranger assault by surprise or entrapment; fear of strange people and places; and fear of incivil or norm-violating behavior. Disparities between fear and actual sexual assault support a model of fear as social control over women's use of public space. Recommendations address future research, campus planning, and crime prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-312
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Volume16
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

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