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Fraternity culture and college rape

media captioncampus rape

The BBC Pop Up team has spent September living in a house on the edge of the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado. The issue of sexual assaults at US colleges was raised repeatedly by students we met.

It is a national problem, with studies suggesting one in five women will be victims during their time at university.

And it is a serious problem at CU-Boulder too. The college is on the White House's list of schools suspected of Title IX violations - that's a law guaranteeing that women in federally-funded universities won't face discrimination due to their gender.

More than 70 schools including CU-Boulder are accused of having improperly dealt with sexual assault cases, and are now the target of a federal investigation.

While sexual assault is not a problem specific to fraternities, studies have shown that on college campuses, men who join a fraternity are three times more likely to rape than other men.

The White House launched a campaign last week called "It's On Us". The initiative is aimed at encouraging male students to intervene to stop abusive behaviour.

Will curbing fraternity culture help prevent college rapes? Or are they easy targets for a more complex problem?

Benjamin Zand investigated the role fraternity culture plays in sexual assault at CU-Boulder.

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