Factors Associated With Types of Sexual Assault Victimization and Bystander Behavior Among South Korean University Students

Dong Ha Kim, Myung Yong Um, Hyunkag Cho, Eui Bhin Lee, Jong Serl Chun, Heesuk Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The aim of the current study was to gain understanding about incidences of sexual misconduct and bystander behaviors in South Korean universities. Specifically, risk factors were examined associated with three different types of sexual assault victimization (verbal or visual sexual harassment, physically forced sexual assault, and incapacitated sexual assault) and investigated the factors related to bystander behaviors. Data were collected via an online survey tool called SurveyMonkey in 2016. The total sample of participants comprised 1,944 enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from six universities in Seoul, South Korea. One logistic regression was conducted with a sample who reported sexual assault victimization (n = 1,079) to examine the risk factors associated with the three types of sexual misconduct. The other logistic regression was conducted with the subsample of bystanders (n = 540) to examine the relationships between bystander behavior and risk factors. In the main results, each type of sexual misconduct was associated differentially with age, alcohol blackouts, depression, child abuse and neglect, being an international student, and childhood sexual victimization. Also, persons who were older, self-identified LGBT, and victimized by verbal or visual sexual harassment at university were more likely to intervene when sexual misconduct occurred. These findings have implications for policies and interventions to reduce and prevent sexual misconduct in Korean universities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)952-971
Number of pages20
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2019 Springer Publishing Company, LLC.


  • South Korean universities
  • bystander
  • incapacitated sexual assault
  • physically forced sexual assault
  • verbal sexual harassment
  • visual sexual harassment


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