Student and Faculty Opinions About Title IX

A key aspect of the push for young college women to use Title IX to fight sexual violence and improve the harmful culture that exists on campuses is to change the opinions of the other students and faculty on that campus. This is also an important aspect of the overall dialogue about sex that is happening all across social media. In order to reclaim the dialogue surrounding sex and improve the culture of college campuses, students and faculty need to have an understanding about how to handle disclosures of victimization, as well as shared opinions on sexual assault reforms, education on consent definitions, and how they want to be educated about sexual assault and consent. 

In order to change the current campus climate, it is important to know if students and faculty understand how Title IX can affect the way they handle disclosures of victimization. A 2018 study conducted by Newins et al. measured the opinions of students and faculty about this topic. Under Title IX, any incident of sexual violence, as defined by the amendment, that is disclosed to an employee must be reported to the school’s Title IX coordinator. Employees are also encouraged to share with their students that if they report sexual violence to them, then they are required to tell the Title IX coordinator even if the student does not want them to. This study examined how aware employees and students were of the mandatory reporting requirements, and how mandatory reporting changed their opinions about disclosing a victimization. The study found that when a faculty member was the perpetrator of an act of sexual harassment in comparison to when the perpetrator was a student, employees more strongly agreed that they should report the sexual harassment even if the student does not want them to. When it came to students’ opinions about disclosing their victimization to a faculty member,  22.8% said they would not disclose and 36.9% said they were unsure if they would. Similarly, 36% of students said they were unsure if they would disclose victimization or knowledge of an incident to a faculty member when they understand that the faculty member must report this to the Title IX office.  With the understanding of mandatory reporting, still 1/5th of faculty indicated they were unsure or unlikely to report an incident to the Title IX coordinator. Also, 14.9% of students said that the mandatory reporting requirement made them less likely to disclose their victimization.[1] These numbers indicate that the opinions of students and faculty are influenced by the mandatory reporting requirement of Title IX, and that this requirement may lead to fewer disclosures of victimization. 

It is also important to understand the opinions of faculty about their institutions’ campus sexual assault reforms and education on consent definitions since faculty are already in a higher position of power and advantage. Moylan et al. in 2020 conducted a study that included a survey to measure faculty’s opinions about sexual assault reforms. The study found that most faculty and administrators believed the reforms had led to improvements in how campuses are responding to sexual assault. It also found that most faculty thought the most major campus priority when implementing new reforms would be to enhance the due process rights of those involved in Title IX proceedings. In a similar study, a survey was conducted to measure the opinions of faculty about how their institution educates their students on consent definitions. Interestingly, this study found that there is much disagreement about what consent means, how students should be educated about consent, the value of this education, and who should be involved.[2] This is significant since college faculty have a lot of power when it comes to changing the culture around sexual violence and consent. More improvement and reforms seem to be required to enhance the understanding of faculty about consent definitions in order to improve campus culture. 

Colleges need to take into account when implementing their policies how students want to be educated on consent and sexual assault. Many students prefer that colleges be the ones who investigate sexual violence incidents on campuses since historically the criminal justice system has rarely led to adequate action being taken against abusers. Students also seem to want there to be more of a conversation about how power influences sexual activity, and how typically men are the ones who hold it.[3]  Students also want a shift towards an affirmative consent definition in school policies, since some other students still do not seem to understand the idea of ‘yes means yes’ as opposed to ‘no means no’. They also cite that it is important for colleges to focus on discouraging men from committing assaults rather than focusing on how women should avoid them. In one poll, it was found that 93% of men said that they should respect women more in order to prevent sexual assault.[4] This is a major shift from where things used to be and has clearly been brought on by the onset of social media campaigns and young women’s actions to change the culture of sexual violence on their campuses. 


1.Amie R. Newins and Susan W. White, “Title IX Sexual Violence Reporting Requirements: Knowledge and Opinions of Responsible Employees and Students,” Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research 10, no. 2 (2018): 74–82,

2. Degiuli Francesca et al., “The Administration of Consent: An Exploration of How Consent Education Is Understood and Implemented at a Small Private University,” Sexuality & Culture 24, no. 3 (June 2020): 863–82,

3. Alia E. Dastagir, “The Conversation about Campus Rape Is so Much Bigger than Title IX,” USA Today (Online), September 7, 2017, sec. news,

4. Dastagir, “The Conversation about Campus Rape Is so Much Bigger than Title IX.”

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