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Review 2 of "'Title IX isn’t for you, it’s for the university': Sexual violence survivors’ experiences of institutional betrayal in Title IX investigations"

Published onJan 13, 2022
Review 2 of "'Title IX isn’t for you, it’s for the university': Sexual violence survivors’ experiences of institutional betrayal in Title IX investigations"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

The literature review provides an overview of institutional betrayal, but it doesn’t explain what OCR guidance requires of Title IX coordinators/processes or other issues like mandatory reporting or power differentials that are discussed in the results and discussion sections. Further development of the literature review is really needed as it is not currently clear to readers where Title IX coordinators failed to meet their obligations (i.e., institutional betrayal) versus where policies failed to serve survivors (i.e., policy/systemic failures). The discussion seems to point to the former, whereas the implications state the latter. Are you really finding something more than institutional betrayal here? Cipriano et al.’s new paper in Feminist Criminology presenting qualitative data from student survivors on perceived harm by survivors versus Title IX coordinator decisions regarding whether reports merited formal complaint/investigation (i.e., severity as defined by policy) might be helpful here.

There are some inaccurate/imprecise statements and sources in the introduction/literature review that need attention before publication:

  • Second sentence on prevalence does not cite nationally representative studies that provide prevalence estimates. Please revise and cite representative studies.

  • Similarly, Lindquist study focuses on HBCU’s, another citation could be added to supplement point on reason for non-reporting (e.g., Cantor et al., 2020).

  • Please cite 34 CFR Part 106 instead of the unofficial document from DOE as Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance has been added to the Federal Register

  • The 1996 and 2001 OCR guidance stated “prompt and equitable response” not prompt and effective. 34 CFR Part 106 continues to use prompt and equitable but also states “promptly and supportively” (i.e., in providing supportive measures) (see for example p. 30026). Does 34 CFR Part 106 state “prompt and effectively” respond? Please clarify and cite page number. 

  • Similarly, OCR guidance (1996, 2001, 2014) has mandated the designation of a Title IX Coordinator, does 34 CFR Part 106 mandate a Title IX office (or the like)?

  • A similar study of qualitative interviews with student survivors who reported to Title IX is not included here – Kathryn Holland and Allison Cipriano (2021) Does a report=support. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. https://doi.org/10.1111/asap.12271

  • Results cite sample is primarily cisgender women but N = 21 so isn’t that the whole sample? (i.e., all cisgender women)?

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