University of Texas survey: Nearly 15 percent of female students raped
AUSTIN, Texas – Nearly 15 percent of female undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin reported being raped in a survey released by officials at the 50,000-student campus Friday.
The survey comes at a time when Baylor University and state lawmakers are facing a widespread sexual assault scandal involving football players at the nation’s largest Baptist university.
The Texas survey data works out to about 1 in 7 undergraduate women in Austin. Nationwide, about 1 in 4 college women reported unwanted sexual contact in a 2015 survey by the Association of American Universities.
The flagship Texas campus is one of the largest in the U.S. and released Friday’s report ahead of schedule after a legislator this week revealed the 15 percent figure during a hearing in the Texas Capitol. The Baylor scandal, which has engulfed the university for the past two years, has prompted several bills aimed at increasing reporting and reducing sexual assaults on campus.
Baylor officials have acknowledged at least 17 women reported being raped by 19 football players since 2011. Lawsuits against the school put the number of alleged sexual assaults at more than 50 over a four-year period. The scandal led to the firing of football coach Art Briles and university president Ken Starr stepping down.
A Baylor spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone call or email Friday from The Associated Press asking if the university has conducted a similar survey.
The University of Texas report was the result of an internet survey of more than 7,600 students and was funded by the school. Among the other findings were 28 percent of female undergraduates reporting unwanted sexual touching, and that 87 percent of all incidents occurred off-campus.
“The results of this survey of our students are of tremendous concern to me, and I know these findings are deeply troubling to every member of our community,” University of Texas President Gary Fenves said in a statement.
The University of Texas was also part of the 2015 national survey that found that 18.5 percent of female undergraduates on the Austin campus were the victim of sexual assault. Researchers said that although the new numbers closely track the previous findings, the two surveys were conducted differently.