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Digital Content Provider “Confi” Unveils Innovative Study on College Sexual Assault

Dec. 9, 2016 – Boston-based health startup Confi has released a new study, “Campus Sexual Assault: Conflicting Expectations and Beliefs,” which analyzes misaligned expectations and problematic beliefs that underlie many sexual assault incidents. The research examines what college-age students and recent graduates expect sexually when they go home together, the many reasons people experience unwanted sex beyond the standard “physically forced” or “incapacitated” categories, and which cues are viewed as signifying consent.

A main finding of the Confi study is that 47% of straight men expect vaginal sex if they go home with someone after a party versus 30% of straight women. Expectations do not just differ by gender or social group (such as Greek of non-Greek), but rather, every demographic shows a full range of differing expectations. This increases the likelihood that any pairing of people could have mismatched expectations – a finding that complements previous research showing that people tend to misread cues based on expectations. The implication is: Why verbally ask for consent when you think the other person obviously expects it?

“Most incidents of sexual assault do not involve strangers in the bushes or date rape drugs, but the unplanned scenarios are equally harmful, and are the situations where consent training can have the greatest impact,” said Tess Brooks, Confi’s founder and CEO. “This study provides actionable insights that can inform prevention strategies and spark more research.”

Other findings show a gender-related disconnect regarding how much convincing women need before they will have sex. A third of women report having had unwanted sex because someone was too persistent, while one in four men agree that women “usually have to be convinced to have sex.” 28% of men also believe that “Many accusations of sexual assault are the result of women regretting sex after the fact.”

Data was collected anonymously online by 1,200 people aged 18-25, who have started or recently finished a 4-year or 2-year college. Participants represent over 500 colleges nationwide, whereas most previous research focused primarily on either students from a major 4-year research university or incarcerated rapists.

Confi is working with schools and student groups to implement these findings in prevention and education programs to address expectations and beliefs. Utilizing innovative data-driven images to share insights, Confi also provides free infographic discussion guides for student groups and parents based on this research.

For more information please contact Tess Brooks (tess@confi.co).

About Confi:
Founded in 2015, Confi is a digital health content provider that creates engaging, expert-approved content on sensitive health topics. Confi (confi.co) is a free online community for students, with information on OB/GYN questions, sexual health, relationships, and mental health. Confi also provides tailored content for schools.