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.

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.