Sexual Assault Research: Methodology Research

Studying sexual assault is a challenge.

Asking participants about victimization experiences can feel upsetting and intrusive. Asking participants about their perpetration of sexual assault can feel threatening, and they may not want to admit to their behavior.

Yet, methodologically sound research is critical to better understanding—and ultimately preventing—sexual assault. For that reason, researchers at the Kinsey Institute do research on the best methods for studying sexual assault; for example, they study how and in what contexts we should ask questions about sexual assault to best promote participant comprehension, comfort, and honesty.

Solid research on sexual assault is the foundation for prevention.

Selected Publications

Canan, C.N., Cozzolino, L., Myers, J., & Jozkowski, K.N. (2022). Does gender inclusive language affect psychometric properties of the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale-Short Form? A two-sample validation study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Online ahead of print

Giroux, S.A., Gesselman, A.N., Garcia, J.R., Luetke, M., & Rosenberg, M. (2020). The magnitude and potential impact of missing data in a sexual violence campus climate survey.  Journal of American College Health, 68(5), 468-476.

McCallum, E., & Peterson, Z. D. (2016). Women’s self-report of sexual victimization: An experimental examination of the influence of race, mode of inquiry, setting, and experimenter contact. Violence Against Women, 23(7), 850-870.

Peterson, Z. D. (2023). Examining the psychometric properties of the Sexual Initiation Strategies Scale (SISS): A new self-report measure of sexual aggression perpetration history. Journal of Sex Research, 60(1), 91-113.

Strang E., & Peterson, Z. D. (2017). Unintentional misreporting on self-report measures of sexually aggressive behavior: An interview study. Journal of Sex Research, 54(8), 971-983.

Strang, E., & Peterson, Z. D. (2020). Use of a bogus pipeline to detect men’s intentional underreporting of their sexually aggressive behavior. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 35(1-2), 208-232.

Strang, E. T., Peterson, Z. D., Hill, Y. N., & Heiman, J. R. (2013). Discrepant responding across self-report measures of men's coercive and aggressive sexual strategies. Journal of Sex Research, 50(5), 458-469.

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