Article courtesy of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle via “The Rundown”
College football game days have long been associated with alcohol-fueled partying on campuses, but a new study shows they’re also linked to an increase in reports of sexual assault.
A new paper coauthored by a Montana State University economics professor finds game days at top college football programs are associated with a 28 percent increase in reports of rape from college-age women.
The study, which focused on 96 U.S. colleges and universities with NCAA Division 1 football programs, examined the relationship between campus party culture and sexual assault. It found rape reports in the vicinity of those colleges surge 41 percent above average on the day of home football games, while reports of rape increase 15 percent when there are away games.
“Our results demonstrate that events that intensify partying increase reports of rape,” said economist Isaac Swensen, a research fellow with MSU’s Initiative for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis and one of three authors of the paper. In addition to home games, Swensen said rivalry games and upset wins are associated with higher rates of reported sexual assault.
The researchers found the effects are larger for schools with more prominent football teams and during more prominent games.
The study’s estimates are based on panel data collected from the FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System, a voluntary program for universities.
In addition to the findings, the paper offers recommendations for policymakers to consider and conclude that it will be important for future research to consider the degree to which game day-specific policies, such as elimination of tailgating and alcohol sales inside football stadiums, reduce incidences of rape.