EVALUATING THE EFFECT OF STATE TITLE IX POLICIES ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES THROUGH DIFFERENCE-IN-DIFFERENCES INVESTIGATION

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2022

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Abstract

One in five women and one in 15 men will experience sexual assault while enrolled in college. Rates of sexual assault in higher education have remained relatively constant over the past 50 years (Cantor et al., 2020). Nevertheless, the industry has seen a resurgence of focused pressure to eradicate the issue more effectively. Despite several decades of excellent work on campus sexual violence and higher education policy research, scholars have not addressed the intersection of these two areas to explore state-level outcomes. This study examines a new pathway of policy research focused on the effect of state-level Title IX policies on sexual assault incident reports on college campuses within the United States. Using difference-in-differences regression techniques, principal-agent theory (Kivisto, 2005; Lane & Kivisto, 2008), and the policy adoption framework (Hearn et al., 2017), the purpose of this research is to determine the effect of state-level Title IX laws on the frequency of recorded incident reports at four-year public institutions of higher education between 2010 and 2019. This research utilizes data from IPEDS and the U.S. Department of Education. California and New York serve as the two treatment cases in the study. Each state is compared to regional compact or neighboring states and a national set of never-adopting states. This study examines the policy’s average treatment effect over ten years, as well as year-to-year, to uncover the policy effect from enactment to normalized implementation. Ultimately, this study illuminates the efficacy of these state-level Title IX policies and determines whether the policy serves as a valuable intervention tool to eradicate campus sexual violence.

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