Student Attitudes Toward Sexual Misconduct at Amherst College

Amherst College is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts. Like many institutions of higher education, Amherst College regularly surveys its community to assess the campus climate on issues related to sexual respect and sexual misconduct. Both the 2014-2015 and the 2015-2016 surveys provided  benchmark data for students’ views toward sexual respect and sexual misconduct and helped the college gauge the extent to which students are experiencing various forms of sexual misconduct.

This study was designed as a follow-up to Amherst College’s quantitative survey on sexual respect and sexual misconduct. The Amherst College Offices of Title IX and Sexual Respect Education retained Market Street Research in May of 2017 to conduct a focus group designed to explore students’ attitudes toward and perceptions of both sexual misconduct and Amherst College’s response to sexual misconduct. The goal of the focus group was to delve deeper into students’ attitudes and experiences to better understand why they hold various opinions about sexual misconduct, why they do or don’t report instances of sexual misconduct, and what the college can do to best support both students who have experienced sexual misconduct and those who perpetuate it.

See the summary of the results of a May, 2017 online focus group:

2015-2016 Sexual Respect and Sexual Misconduct Survey Data Set

To the Amherst College Community:

The following documents contain the data set of the Academic Year 2015-2016 Sexual Respect and Sexual Misconduct Survey:


 Sexual Respect Survey: Summary of Responses (visual format).pdf

Our goal with this survey was to capture benchmark data on the experiences and attitudes of Amherst students on issues related to sexual misconduct and sexual respect in order to identify trends over time.  

We are currently planning for ways to dig deeper into these results in an effort to obtain more robust information in the areas that we believe require a more focused analysis. This work will help to inform our policies and practices around sexual respect and our community’s response to reported instances of sexual misconduct.

In order to maintain the anonymity promised to survey participants, disaggregated results are only publicly available for groups that are sufficiently sizable so as to ensure that individual responses cannot be identified.  Participants who identified as transgender or who self-described their gender identity are not included in the publically available data due to the small number of participants who so identified. 


Laurie Frankl, Title IX Coordinator
Amanda Vann, Sexual Respect Educator