Classroom Resources

What is Sexual Assault?

When the Rapist Doesn’t See it as Rape

This article discusses a study in which college men admitted to having sex with someone who didn’t want to.  It debunks misperceptions about sexual assault: that it is perpetrated by strangers or that sexual assault involving alcohol is just a “misunderstanding” or something the survivor “regretted.” NOTE: SOME GRAPHIC MATERIAL

Rape Myths

These are responses to common myths about rape.  They are put together by a nonprofit in the United Kingdom, but they also apply to the United States and sexual assault.

University of Iowa Sexual Misconduct Policy

This page details the university’s policy in sexual misconduct cases involving students.  The page gives definitions of the different types of sexual misconduct, the rights of alleged assailants and survivors, and details the process of making a complaint.

Iowa Laws – Sexual Assault

This is the section of Iowa law that details sexual assault, sexual abuse, and voyeurism, among others.

What is Consent?

Consent Ed

This website provides useful information about what consent is, common myths about sexual assault and consent, sexual assault, rape culture and taking action.

Consent & Alcohol

The Missing Key to Fighting Sexual Assault on Campus

This article is a good primer in the current debate surrounding alcohol and consent in laws and university policies.

The Steubenville Rape Case – Rape Case Unfolds on Web and Splits City

This article records the events surrounding a sexual assault in Steubenville, OH.  Two high school boys assaulted a high school girl who was incapacitated by alcohol.  The article does a good job of showing sexual assault in context: the reactions of the police, townspeople, assailants, survivor and her family. NOTE: SOME GRAPHIC MATERIAL

Who Are You? (Note: some graphic material)

This video a group of actors show the possible events leading up to an alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. The video also points at the different moments in the evening when I bystander could have prevented the assault.

Survivor Accounts

We’re Called Survivors Because We’re Still Here

This is a letter to survivors of sexual assault that seeks to give advice and emotional support.  For those who have not experienced sexual assault, it provides a good window into the thoughts and feelings of one survivor.

Dear Harvard – You Win

This letter originally posted in the Harvard Crimson (school newspaper) details one woman’s battle to have her institution punish her assailant.  It also details the impact of the assault on her emotional, social and academic life.

What Many Men Don’t Understand about Sexual Assault

In this article, a young man who was sexually assaulted while traveling abroad details what he learned about the assumptions and misperceptions that many people have about sexual assault.

MaleSurvivor

A nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness about sexual abuse against men and boys.  They provide information about the issue as well as resources for survivors.

Sexual Assault in the Military

This article discusses the issue of sexual assault within the military and shows a spotlight of how male victims of sexual assault are systematically silenced. On a rhetorical level, the many quotes included from interviews with survivors, psychologists and military personell provides a window into how we talk about sexual assault. NOTE: GRAPHIC MATERIAL

Voices of Courage

Link to a free E-book or audiobook in which survivors tell their stories of assault, recovery and growth.

Sexual Assault & Gender

Sexual Assault in the Transgender Community

According to recent statistics, one in two transgender individuals will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, making them one of the communities most vulnerable to sexual assault in the country.  That vulnerability and the misconceptions many people have about transgender people means that trans survivors often do not get the support that they need.  This website is a good primer on transgender issues and how to best support a transgender survivors.

Rape and the Gatekeeper Narrative

This article in the Harvard Crimson does a good job how the gatekeeper myth (that men always want sex and women are the one that decide whether or not they have it) leads to unhealthy attitudes about sex and sexual assault.

Miss Representation

This is a documentary that explores how women are affected by the rhetorical portrayals of female characters and figures in the media and popular culture.  It addresses these issues in relation to sexual assault, eating disorders, pay inequity and other issues.

How Movies Teach Manhood

This TEDTalk by Colin Stokes (embedded below) discusses the stories marketed to boys and girls, and how those stories affect the way we envision our lives and perceive the world.  He argues that exposing children to different stories is an important part of educating children and can help shape their later behavior for the better.

Men Can Stop Rape

Website of an organization that seeking a new response to sexual violence.  The creators of Men Can Stop Rape realized that while most sexual violence is perpetrated by men, most prevention efforts are targeted at women.  Men Can Stop Rape tries to share some of the burden of violence prevention, while also teaching men that being manly doesn’t mean being violent.

The Everyday Sexism Project

Creator Laura Bates discusses how she came to form the Everyday Sexism Project in response to the casual sexism (including assaults) that has become “normal” in British and American culture.  She also discusses the backlash she experienced when she tried to bring this sexism to the attention of others and the strength she found in sharing her stories and the stories of other women.  The Everyday Sexism Project is a source of solidarity and a way for people to share their strategies for combating sexism.

What is Rape Culture?

What is Rape Culture

This is a smart and well written primer on what rape culture is and how it functions in our communities.

Rape Culture Is a Contract We Never Actually Signed

This blog post discusses the ways that rape culture keeps people from having healthy, happy sex lives even when they don’t experience rape or sexual assault.

Tools for Future Research

 

The University Wire

This is a compilation of university news stories and press releases from over 600 university news organizations. This can provide useful insight into how different universities are talking about and dealing with sexual assault on their campuses. What is the national dialogue and how does it vary from place to place?

The link above is for the UWire archives, but you can see their latest articles and postings at uwire.com

Pedagogy

Teaching about Sexual Violence in Higher Education: Moving from Concern to Conscious Resistance

This article discusses the barriers to teaching sexual assault awareness in a way that makes students aware of the broader social issues.  It discusses strategies for fighting oppression in the classroom, and gives sample discussion questions and activities at the end of the paper.

Teaching about Sexual Assault: Problematic Silences and Solutions

This article discusses the ways in which common pedagogical practices silence student survivors during discussions of sexual assault.  This is harmful not only to the survivors, but also to their classmates who are allowed to continue viewing sexual assault as a distant reality.  This article then offers advice and strategies for breaking that silence and make sure that survivors feel safe and included in classroom discussion.

Professors’ Experiences With Student Disclosures of Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence: How “Helping” Students Can Inform Teaching Practices

This article shows the results of an in-depth survey taken of instructors who teach about sexual assault awareness or gender studies.  The survey revealed trends about which instructors were more likely to receive student disclosures about sexual violence and how the instructors reacted to those disclosures.  The article finally offers suggestions about how to respond to student disclosures.

 

Data Visualizations

As part of the Campus Culture curriculum, students identify examples of sex or sexual assault in the media or that they encounter in their daily lives.  Students reflect on the messages their examples are sending and how the situations presented do or do not adhere to the guidelines for sex and consent they generated in class. All data depicted in the visualizations below were generated by students at the University of Iowa. 

 

MEDIA VS. REAL-WORLD EXAMPLES: 


Students are asked to identify examples of sex or sexual assault in the media or that they encounter in their daily lives and to consider what those examples reflect of the cultural narratives that surround sexual assault. Below, see the breakdown of media represented in students’ examples. 

MediaSituations


Students are asked to identify examples of sex or sexual assault in the media or that they encounter in their daily lives and to consider what those examples reflect of the cultural narratives that surround sexual assault. Below, see the breakdown of the real-world situations represented in the students’ examples.

RealWorldSituations


USE OF SUBSTANCES:


Students are asked to identify examples of sex or sexual assault in the media or that they encounter in their daily lives. Students are asked to provide specifics about their chosen examples. 

Substances

 

 

 

 

 

 


If substances were involved in their selected media or real-world examples of sex and sexual assault, students were asked to identify the spe
cific substances involved. 

SubstancesInvolved

 

CLASS-GENERATED GUIDELINES:


As part of the Campus Culture curriculum, students collaborate with their classmates to generate guidelines for (1) sex and assault and (2) consent. Students are then asked to analyze their chosen media or real-world examples of sex and sexual assault against their class’s generated guidelines. Students were asked to specifically identify if their examples aligned with the guidelines on sex and assault (directly below) and consent (second visualization below).

SexAndAssaultGuidelines

 

ConsentGuidelines


As part of the Campus Culture curriculum, students collaborate with their classmates to generate guidelines for (1) sex and assault and (2) consent. Students are then asked to analyze their chosen media or real-world examples of sex and sexual assault against their class’s generated guidelines. Students were asked to specifically identify if their examples aligned with the guidelines on sex and assault (directly below) and consent (second visualization below). 
Students also provide locational information for their media and real-world examples. The two visualizations here each represent location information for media and real-world examples. 

DID YOUR MEDIA OR REAL-WORLD EXAMPLE FOLLOW THE CLASS-GENERATED GUIDELINES ON SEX AND ASSAULT?

SexAssaultGuidelineBreakdown
DID YOUR MEDIA OR REAL-WORLD EXAMPLE FOLLOW THE CLASS-GENERATED GUIDELINES ON CONSENT?

ConsentGuidelineBreakdown

 


As part of the Campus Culture curriculum, students collaborate with their classmates to generate guidelines for (1) sex and assault and (2) consent. Students are then asked to analyze their chosen media or real-world examples of sex and sexual assault against their class’s generated guidelines. Students were asked to specifically identify if their examples followed the guidelines on sex and assault and consent.

Student-generated data visualizations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MESSAGES SENT BY media & real-world EXAMPLES:


As part of the Campus Culture curriculum, students identify examples of sex and sexual assault in the media or that they encounter in their daily lives. Students are asked to critically analyze their chosen examples of sex and sexual assault and specifically identify the messages these examples send about consent (visualization directly below), sex and sexual assault (second visualization below), and sex and substance abuse (third visualization below).

 

ConsentMessageSent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SexAssaultMessageSent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SubstancesMessageSent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Teaching Materials

The Campus Culture Project offers two trajectories of lessons or short, in-class activities that prompt students to think about sexual assault and the cultural narratives that surround it. The lessons are specific enough to teach sexual assault prevention in a focused, meaningful way, while flexible enough to be incorporated into many different course schedules.

See the two tracks of curriculum materials at the links below. Each track contains 9 lessons.

CCP 2 – Lesson Plan & Overview

Below you will find an overview of the three units and  nine individual lesson plans for Series II of the Campus Culture Project. The full plan, complete with instructions, assignment prompts, and more, can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

Lesson Plan: CampusCultureOverview2

Unit 1 – Confronting the Rhetorics of Rape Culture (What is Sexual Assault?)

Lesson 1 – Rhetoric in our Campus Community: Instructors introduce the Campus Culture Project and students discuss the role that rhetoric plays in influencing their college expectations

Lesson 2: Rhetoric Surrounding Sexual Assault: Rape Culture
In this lesson students will be introduced to the emergent cultural conversations centered on so-called “rape culture” in order to situate the Campus Culture Project within this larger dialogue.

Lesson 3: Redefining Sexual Assault
Students confront their assumptions about sexual assault through considering how it impacts people of different genders (“it’s not just a woman’s issue”). They leave with a definition of sexual assault that brings together everything from the unit.

Unit 2 – Communication, Consent, and Community (What is Consent?)

Lesson 4:  Gender Norms, Power & Rape Culture
Today, students will be focusing on the issue of hegemonic masculinity (and femininity), and how such gender norms help to produce a rape culture. They will strive to articulate how such norms are culturally embedded in and learned from the rhetorics that surround them, and how we might re-think these norms in order to dismantle rape culture.

Lesson 5: False Accusations & Victim Blaming
This lesson introduces students to two of the dominant myths endemic of rape culture. These issues further center the relation between power and sexual assault, and thus allow for a more in depth discussion about empowerment and consent.

Lesson 6: Consent & Alcohol
Students discuss the relationship of alcohol and consent while considering current laws and debates. They will continue to craft their definition of consent, and building toward a safer and more supportive campus community.

 

Unit 3 – Commitment to Campus Culture

Lesson 7: Our Campus & Others
Students consider the actions that other campuses are taking to combat rape culture and sexual assault on their campuses. Students consider emerging laws and policies that are targeting sexual assault (e.g. Yes Means Yes Campaign in California).  

Lesson 8: Bystander Intervention Training
The Women’s Resource & Action Center and the Rape Victims Advocacy Center leads Bystander Intervention Training for participating sections to give students strategies for preventing sexual assault.

Lesson 9: Changing Campus Culture
Students will brainstorm ways to change campus culture with regard to sexual assault and make a commitment to do so.

Teaching Materials – Series II (Rape Culture)

Here you will find all of the teaching materials for Series 2 of the Campus Culture Project (CCP). This lesson is designed to instruct students to understand the rhetoric about sex and sexual assault around them, and puts the CCP into conversation with larger cultural dialogues about “rape culture” in the United States. It focuses on the relation between sexual assault and power, and guides students through ideas pertaining to gender and sexuality, cultural myths about sex and sexual assault, and more. It is ideal for students who may have more experience or knowledge with discourses of sex and sexual assault, and who are more prepared to take on more complicated and confrontational issues pertaining to these issues. View the full lesson plans, complete with instructions and assignment prompts by clicking the link below.

Full Lesson Plans: Campus Culture Overview 2
Media packet for identifying messages: Media Packet     
Unit 1 – Confronting the Rhetorics of Rape Culture (What is Sexual Assault?)

Lesson 1 – Rhetoric in our Campus Community: Instructors introduce the Campus
Culture Project and students discuss the role that rhetoric plays in influencing their college expectations

Lesson 2: Rhetoric Surrounding Sexual Assault: Rape Culture
In this lesson students will be introduced to the emergent cultural conversations centered on so-called “rape culture” in order to situate the Campus Culture Project within this larger dialogue.

Lesson 3: Redefining Sexual Assault
Students confront their assumptions about sexual assault through considering how it impacts people of different genders (“it’s not just a woman’s issue”). They leave with a definition of sexual assault that brings together everything from the unit.

Unit 2 – Communication, Consent, and Community (What is Consent?)

Lesson 4:  Gender Norms, Power & Rape Culture
Today, students will be focusing on the issue of hegemonic masculinity (and femininity), and how such gender norms help to produce a rape culture. They will strive to articulate how such norms are culturally embedded in and learned from the rhetorics that surround them, and how we might re-think these norms in order to dismantle rape culture.

Lesson 5: False Accusations & Victim Blaming
This lesson introduces students to two of the dominant myths endemic of rape culture. These issues further center the relation between power and sexual assault, and thus allow for a more in depth discussion about empowerment and consent.

Lesson 6: Consent & Alcohol
Students discuss the relationship of alcohol and consent while considering current laws and debates. They will continue to craft their definition of consent, and building toward a safer and more supportive campus community.

Unit 3 – Commitment to Campus Culture

Lesson 7: Our Campus & Others
Students consider the actions that other campuses are taking to combat rape culture and sexual assault on their campuses. Students consider emerging laws and policies that are targeting sexual assault (e.g. Yes Means Yes Campaign in California).  

Lesson 8: Bystander Intervention Training
The Women’s Resource & Action Center and the Rape Victims Advocacy Center leads Bystander Intervention Training for participating sections to give students strategies for preventing sexual assault.

Lesson 9: Changing Campus Culture
Students will brainstorm ways to change campus culture with regard to sexual assault and make a commitment to do so.

Teaching Materials – Series I (Gender & Sexuality)

Here you will find all the materials (lesson plans, handouts, assignment sheets, readings) for Series I of the Campus Culture Project. Series I focuses on gender and sexuality, and walks students slowly step by step, through distinct issues of sexual assault awareness. This series is ideal for instructors interested in gender issues or those who feel their students have less previous knowledge of the issue.

Full Lesson Plans: Series I Lessons Plans
Unit 1: What is Sexual Assault? 

Lesson 1 – Rhetoric of College Life
Instructors introduce the Campus Culture Project and students discuss the role that rhetoric plays in influencing their college expectations.

Lesson 2 – Rhetoric Around Sexual Assault
Students consider how rhetoric shapes their attitudes about sex, sexual assault, and its survivors.

Lesson 3 – Redefining Sexual Assault
After gaining awareness of the prevalent messages around sexual assault, students turn to the rhetoric made by victims to redefine what sexual assault is.

Unit 2: What is Consent? 

Lesson 4 – Defining Consent
Students begin drafting a set of guidelines for relationships and consent that they would like members of their campus community to follow in order to keep everyone safe.

Lesson 5 – Consent and Alcohol
Students discuss the relationship of alcohol and consent while considering current laws and debates.

Lesson 6 – Our Guidelines in the Media
With their class guidelines finished, students research a series of pop culture images to see how their guidelines compare to societal norms.
Media packet for identifying messages within media: Media Packet

Unit 3: Commitment to Campus Culture

Lesson 7 – Our Campus and Others
Students compare their guidelines to the university code of conduct and to state laws to better understand why sexual assault remains so prevalent.

Lesson 8 – Bystander Intervention Training
The Women’s Resource & Action Center and the Rape Victims Advocacy Center lead Bystander Intervention Training for participating sections to give students strategies for preventing sexual assault.

Lesson 9 – Changing Campus Culture 
Students will brainstorm ways to change campus culture with regard to sexual assault and make a commitment to do so.