Chegg survey: Women on college campuses feel less safe than males

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Friday, June 20, 2014

What: Results of the latest student survey conducted by Chegg, The Student Hub, demonstrate the effect and influence recent school shootings and reports of campus violence have on the collective student body. As high profile school shootings and sexual assault reports have become a tragic, yet common, part of the American mainstream, Chegg asked students their feelings on the subject; particularly how safe they feel on campus, how they believe their schools are prepared to prevent violence, and whether or not they believe the news media have exaggerated the issues. The survey explored key themes and found:

Women are markedly more concerned about on-campus violence than men: Women also feel less strongly that their campuses are doing enough to prevent violence, including school shootings and nonlethal violence such as sexual assault:

-- Asked how well their school does at preventing sexual assaults on campus 43 percent of female students believe their school is not doing enough, whereas nearly 7 in 10 (68 percent) male students believe they are doing enough.

-- 41 percent of female students rank non-lethal assaults, including sexual assault, as a top concern on campus, while only 25% of male students do -- that's almost half. Conversely, 66 percent of male students rank property crimes as a top concerns, with only 48 percent of female students saying that.

-- 51 percent of male students believe that the media exaggerates gun violence, compared with only 36 percent of female students agreeing with the same statement.

-- With this in mind, 45% of female students feel their school does not do enough to prevent gun violence, while only 36 percent of males feel likewise.

There are distinct differences along party lines as well:

Conservative students feel most safe on campus, at 73 percent, while liberal students are slightly more cautious at 59 percent.

-- Asked if their school does enough to prevent gun violence, 50 percent of liberal-leaning students say their school does enough, whereas 68 percent of conservative-leaning students believe that.

-- Across the political spectrum, 65 percent of self-identified conservative students agree that the media exaggerates gun violence, while only 26 percent of liberals and 46 percent of moderates agree with the statement.

Students generally feel safe, but all have concerns:

56 percent of all students worry at least a little about school shootings; 9 percent, or nearly 1 in 10, students worry about school shootings a lot.

-- In ranking on-campus safety concerns, together 55 percent of all students list property crimes as their top concern; 34 percent rank non-lethal assault (including sexual assault); only 10 percent of students rank gun violence as their top concern.

-- 67 percent of all students report feeling safe on or near their campus.

Their real fears mean students aren't overwhelmingly skeptical of media hype: The majority of students don't believe media exaggerates gun violence in schools, and they also believe that gun violence results more from mental health issues vs. legislative controls. That said, they believe the country will likely enact stricter gun control measures:

-- 58 percent of all students do not agree that the media exaggerates gun violence in schools.

-- 69 percent of all students believe the epidemic in gun violence is more a product of mental health issues than it is a lack of suitable gun control legislation.

-- 65 percent of all students believe the country is moving towards enacting, and ultimately will enact, stricter gun control measures.

-- A significant minority (43 percent) of today's college students would even be willing to give up their 2nd Amendment rights in order to have a safer society.

Why: Through its reach to over 13 million high school and college students, Chegg has deep insight into the student landscape. As a student-first company, it's Chegg's prerogative to keep a constant pulse on the collective nationwide student mindset -- from the brands they like, to the trends they follow, and even the differing views they have on the most recent news. While Chegg's mission is to deliver tools and services to help this group be successful in their education, it's paramount to also understand the other elements that make up the full student experience, because that also contributes to their long-term success.

How: Chegg polled its proprietary Cheggheads panel of more than 15,000 High School and College students. 1,765 students took the poll between June 12 and June 15. Data was weighted to national norms and is accurate +/- 2.3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Chegg: Chegg puts students first and is proud to have saved students and their families more than $450 million in 2013 alone. As the leading student-first connected learning platform, Chegg's Student Hub makes higher education more affordable and more accessible, all while improving student outcomes. Chegg is a publicly-held company based in Santa Clara, California and trades on the NYSE under the symbol CHGG. For more information, visit www.chegg.com