EDSIGCON Proceedings 2019

Cleveland, Ohio

Conference Highlights

2019 EDSIG Proceedings - Abstract Presentation

Title IX mandate to report non-consensual sexual contact: An application of text data analytics to understand the views of university freshmen

Minoo Modaresnezhad
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Mary Canel
Tilburg University

Nonconsensual sexual contact (NCSC) constituted one-third of all campus crime reports in 2015 according to the National Center for Education Statistics (Musu et al., 2019). 20-25% of students experience NCSC during their college careers. The most common time that NCSC occurs is during the first four semesters of college and students who live in on-campus housing are more likely to experience NCSC. There is an increase of 262% in NCSC reports between 2001 and 2015.

Title IX Civil Rights law passed in 1972 was an attempt to prohibit gender discrimination in athletics and prohibit sexual harassment. The Title IX Mandate was enforced in all the universities throughout the United States in 2015. The Title IX Mandate is a traditional conflict management measure intended to force schools that receive federal funding to acknowledge and confront reports of sexual assault within their school communities. Title IX Mandate standardized intervention to hold universities accountable with regard to NCSC on campus. But does this one-size-fits-all solution work well for all universities?

We applied social construction theory to address this question. The social construction theory, as opposed to mandate solutions, supports the statement that conflict transforms individuals when individuals collaborate to transform conflict (Gergen, 2009). Therefore, this research is a study focused on the views of university freshmen about the Title IX Mandate as it affects them through open-ended questions in a survey format. To conduct the study, an informational video about Title IX Mandate was created and acted out by peer educators, resident assistants, and a film studies videographer. Freshmen at a public university in the southeastern United States took the survey in eight resident halls over four days during the final exam week of May 2016. The survey was designed based on the appreciative inquiry framework which is about involving stakeholders in self-determined change. Appreciative inquiry framework applies to businesses, groups, and communities (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987), can offer a path for each university to confront deeply entrenched conflicts, and it provides an alternative method for promoting cultural change within the campus community.

The survey consisted of 20 questions. We used the statistical software R and text analytics methods to analyze the data collected from the survey (123 participants). The text mining approaches that were used to analyze the data include counting high-frequency words, term frequency-inverse document frequency, and sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis was applied to identify the common sentiments in the responses. Also, Structural Topic Modeling (STM) was used to discover categories of topics in the responses of participants (Roberts et al., 2014). We applied STM to find out about the critical topics in this area from the students’ perspectives and the potential recommendations to improve the application of this policy at the universities.

Cooperrider, D. L., & Srivastva, S. (1987). Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life. Research in Organizational Change and Development (Vol. 1).
Gergen, K. J. (2009). Relational being: beyond self and community. Oxford University Press.
Musu, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2019). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2018 (NCES 2019-047/NCJ 252571).
National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
Roberts, M. E., Stewart, B. M., Tingley, D., Lucas, C., Leder-Luis, J., Gadarian, S. K., … Candidate, P. (2014). Structural Topic Models for Open-Ended Survey Responses.

Recommended Citation: Modaresnezhad, M., Canel, M., (2019). Title IX mandate to report non-consensual sexual contact: An application of text data analytics to understand the views of university freshmen. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2019) n.5004, Cleveland, Ohio