Author to discuss campus sexual assault at UNO, UNMC

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | February 12, 2020

Image with caption: Jennifer Hirsch, Ph.D.

Jennifer Hirsch, Ph.D.

The fear of sexual assault on college campuses is very real and part of a broader discussion among students about consent, college life and cultural norms.

These facts and other interesting and insightful observations will be discussed when Jennifer Hirsch, Ph.D., co-author of "Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus," presents the findings of years of research on the subject during a presentation at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St. on the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Scott Campus.

A more informal discussion with Dr. Hirsch will be held earlier in the day at noon on the UNMC campus in the Maurer College of Public Health, Room 3013. Lunch will be provided for the first 75 people.

"This book really does a great job of presenting students' honest testimony about what is happening and it has the ability to have a huge impact on helping universities understand what is going on around sexual assault on college campuses, especially as it pertains to spaces students interact in," said Maranda Thompson, an M.D./Ph.D. student at UNMC and president of EMPOWER, a student-led, inter-professional initiative focused on raising awareness and education of domestic and sexual violence.

The event will include a discussion of the book, Q&A, and book signing. Books are available for purchase at the event, or in advance via website. Light appetizers will be served. Attendees are asked to register online.

Dr. Hirsch, a professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, co-wrote "Sexual Citizens" with Shamus Khan, Ph.D., a professor and chair of sociology at Columbia University.

"Sexual Citizens" is based on research Drs. Hirsch and Khan conducted through SHIFT, the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation, which Dr. Hirsch codirects and Dr. Khan co-heads.

SHIFT research examines the many factors that shape sexual health and sexual violence for undergrads at Columbia University.

Through their research initiative the authors interviewed students of different races, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Their study reveals the social ecosystem that makes sexual assault predictable, and explains how physical spaces, alcohol, and peer groups influence young people's experiences and interpretations of both sex and sexual assault.

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