Washington, Mar 1: College athletes are almost three times more likely to gang rape than their peers, a new US study has warned. United Educators (UE), a US company which offers liability insurance to schools, analysed claims reported to it between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2013.
The study examined 305 claims from 104 higher education institutions that involved an alleged sexual assault and a student victim.
College athletes represent 15 per cent of accused perpetrators in the study, roughly their slice of the student population, according to UE.
But they made up 40 per cent of multiple-perpetrator attacks reported to schools. In other words, athletes were almost three times as likely to be involved in gang assault.
In all, 10 per cent of the sexual assault reports examined involved more than one perpetrator. But this could be an over representation of their actual proportion on campus, as alleged victims may be more inclined to report these kinds of attacks, 'america.aljazeera.com' reported.
Fraternity members made up 10 per cent of accused perpetrators in the study. They made up 24 per cent of repeat perpetrators while athletes made up another 20 per cent.
More than three-fourths (78 per cent) claims of an alleged sexual assault involved alcohol. In 11 per cent of "physical force" assaults, the perpetrator was drinking and the victim was not.
That was also true for 7 per cent of "failed consent" cases, where the man is accused of inferring consent from silence or lack of resistance. The study found that the most vulnerable students were in their first and second year of college.
These students represented 73 per cent of the victims of sexual assault. For varying reasons, 40 per cent of the victims delayed reporting their assault by an average of 11.3 months, according to the study.
The study also found that the college or university investigated or adjudicated 77 per cent of the claims reported. Of those investigated or adjudicated, findings of responsibility were common.
When responsibility was found, the institution imposed the following sanctions against perpetrators: 43 per cent were expelled and 39 per cent were suspended.