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Communication Student-Faculty Article Finds Nationwide Coverage of Campus Rape and Rape Culture Linked to Community Health

Pollock, J.C., Richardella, B., Jahr, A., Morgan, M., & Cook, J.P. (2018, June). Nationwide newspaper coverage of rape and rape culture on college campuses: Testing community structure theory. Human Rights Review, 19 (2).

In large US metropolitan newspapers, coverage of campus rape and rape culture supporting “authoritative responsibility” for change in major US cities is not simply a women’s issue (linked to female employment levels), but more broadly a public safety (hate crime) and even more broadly a public health (physician density) issue. This study suggests that women’s issues are broadly connected to large community concerns about public safety and public health. The conclusion is inescapable: Women’s issues are everyone’s issues. What helps women helps everyone.

Co-authored by professors Drs. John C. Pollock and Judi Puritz Cook, together with students Brielle Richardella, Amanda Jahr, and Melissa Morgan, a community structure analysis compared community characteristics and newspaper coverage of rape and rape culture on college campuses in a nationwide cross-section sample of 21 leading metropolitan newspapers over more than ten years (03/13/06 to 06/02/16), yielding 426 articles. This study of nationwide coverage of campus rape and rape culture in major US cities is especially fascinating because “percent women in the workforce” is only the third most importance demographic associated with “authoritative responsibility” for reducing rape and rape culture. More significant (representing a stronger correlation) is percent hate crime (a measure of public safety), and most significant of all is physicians/100, 000 (a measure of community interest in health).

Read the full article here.