Online Program

Sexual assault knowledge among deaf and hard of hearing college students

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gwendolyn Francavillo, PhD, MPH, CHES, RYT, Department of Health and Human Performance, Marymount University, Arlington, VA
Previous studies demonstrate that between 50% and 83% of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. Lack of accurate sexuality information has been shown to be a contributing factor to higher sexual assault rates. Numerous studies have found that Deaf and Hard of Hearing students possess lower levels of sexual knowledge than their hearing peers. Insufficient sexuality education, sources of sexuality information, communication and cultural differences have been determined to be barriers to sexual knowledge within this population. The amount of research about sexuality in general in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community is deficient, however, the minimal amount of research specific to sexual violence among Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals is even more inadequate. To gather baseline data among Deaf and Hard of Hearing college students, a sexual assault knowledge survey was developed and distributed. Facts regarding sexual assault and rape myths were addressed within the survey items. Sources of sexuality information and demographics were incorporated to gain a better understanding about sexual knowledge inequities concerning the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. This study will provide a point of reference for future research regarding sexual assault knowledge among Deaf and Hard of Hearing college students.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe inequities between Deaf/Hard of Hearing and hearing college students regarding sexual assault knowledge. Discuss the predictor variables that are associated with sexual assault knowledge among Deaf and Hard of Hearing college students. Identify needs for future research involving sexual assault disparities among Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.

Keyword(s): Sexual Assault, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked at Gallaudet University for 9 years directing the health and wellness programs and teaching courses among the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, including topics regarding sexual assault and sexuality. I have done extensive research involving the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of Gallaudet University students regarding sexual assault and sexuality. As a result of my research and practice, I have received funding, published my findings, and presented at national and local conferences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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