Substance Use, Sexual Violence, and the Culture Surrounding College Sports: What Can Clery Data Tell Us?

Joy Blanchard – Louisiana State University
Marc Weinstein – Florida International University
Frank A. Rojas – University of Maryland

Sexual violence and substance use have long been issues on American college campuses. Today’s legal landscape requires that institutions seek to reduce, redress, and report incidents related to these social problems. This study builds on previous research investigating whether the parties, tailgating, and excessive drinking affiliated with college sports contributes to increased rates of sexual violence and substance use on campuses. We collected data from federally mandated Clery Act reports over a three-year range. Utilizing a negative binomial regression analysis, we analyzed data from institutions belonging to NCAA Division I (FBS and FCS), Division II, and Division III. Our results indicated that rates of sexual violence and substance use infractions were higher on campuses that compete in the NCAA’s “Power Five” subdivision. Recommendations are provided to institute novel interventions and educational programming to address campus culture and environmental factors that may contribute to increased incidents of reported substance infractions and sexual violence.