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Breaking the Culture of Sexual Assault logo


The Clayman Institute for Gender Research has a history of involvement not only in the prevention of sexual assault, but also in thinking about its root causes. Over the next 18 months, we plan to dig deeper into this issue with a series of events that explore the underlying causes of sexual assault and the culture that allows sexual assault to continue to permeate our college campuses and our society at large. Consistent with the 2015 Provost’s Task Force Recommendations, we believe that an emphasis on education is crucial and that all members of our community need to be engaged in solutions. “Our community must fundamentally understand what sexual violence is, why it is perpetrated, and how to prevent it,” (pg. 7). Our goal is to convene intellectual discussions on these difficult issues and engage students, faculty, and staff in a community-wide conversation designed to generate solutions.

Each quarter we plan to investigate a different aspect of the culture of sexual assault. We will kick the series off in winter quarter 2016 with the theme of Masculinity & Men with two highly regarded writers and scholars, Jackson Katz and Professor Michael Messner. In spring quarter our theme will be Primary Prevention with a panel of faculty experts from around the country who explore best practices for supporting students and changing campus climate, followed later in the quarter with a panel aimed at students on affirmative consent. The 2016-17 academic year will begin with the theme of Intersecting Identities, where we shed light on the experiences of groups, such as LGBTQ students and women students of color, who are most vulnerable to sexual assault.

Our last lecture of this series will be in the fall of 2017 and will take up the topic of Solutions.  We are purposely leaving the specifics of this session open at this time to allow us to be nimble in responding to the changing national discussions around sexual assault. However, the goal for the last quarter is to have an event designed to engage students, staff and faculty. 

Through this series the Clayman Institute plans to collaborate with other units on campus and highlight the workshops and events others are holding. By collaborating with other groups on campus, we hope to motivate a campus-wide, unified approach to breaking the culture of sexual assault.

We would like to thank the co-sponsors of our series for their generous support:

  • Office of the Provost
  • Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost for Graduate Education
  • OpenXChange
  • Stanford Law School
  • Student Affairs
  • The Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
  • Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU)
  • Women's Community Center
  • Men & Masculinities Project