Institutional betrayal magnifies post-trauma effects of unwanted sexual activity | UO Communications
EUGENE, Ore. — (March 8, 2013) — A study of 345 female university students found that 233 of them had experienced at least one unwanted sexual experience in their lifetime, and 46 percent of those victims also experienced betrayal by the institution where incidents occurred. In the final analysis, researchers found, those who experienced institutional betrayal suffered the most in four post-trauma measurement categories, including anxiety and dissociation.
The study by the University of Oregon’s doctoral student Carly Parnitzke Smith and Jennifer J. Freyd, professor of psychology, introduces a 10-item analysis tool — the Institutional Betrayal Questionnaire — designed to assess institutional betrayal and involvement. The study appears in the Journal of Traumatic Stress and comes in the same month that Blind to Betrayal, a new book co-authored by Freyd and UO psychologist Pamela Birrell, was published. Read more…
Freyd is a CSWS faculty affiliate whose research has been supported in part by CSWS. See her paper, “Exposure to Betrayal Trauma and Risks to the Well-Being of Girls and Women,” in the fall 2009 issue of CSWS Research Matters.