We are excited to announce our second study beginning in January 2022:

Campus Sexual Misconduct in a Digital Age (CASMIDA): Perspectives from Singapore

Principal Investigator: Michelle Ho
Co-Investigators: Jungup Lee, Bimlesh Wadhwa, Olivia Choy, Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Cherie Tay

This research is the first of its kind to explore the intersections between sexual misconduct on university campuses and technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment (TFSV) in Singapore. Sexual misconduct is defined as any nonconsensual action of a sexual nature, whereas TFSV indexes a range of behaviors aided by digital technologies to harm women and other individuals (Henry & Powell, 2015).

Scholarship on TFSV and campus sexual misconduct has predominantly focused on the United States, Australian, and United Kingdom contexts, but little research has so far been done on the Asian contexts. Despite a rapid increase in the number of TFSV and campus sexual misconduct cases in Singapore in the past five years, there are to date few academic studies on TFSV and no studies on campus sexual misconduct in the Singaporean context. The body of scholarship on TFSV is usually separate from that on campus sexual misconduct, but we bring them together in novel ways to examine university students’ technology use and media literacy and how they shape TFSV occurrences on campus. 

“Campus Sexual Misconduct in a Digital Age (CASMIDA)” advances knowledge in the two aforementioned bodies of scholarship not only through our focus on the Singaporean context, but also by determining and theorizing how they overlap in significant ways. For college students, campus sexual misconduct and TFSV frequently intertwine because they use digital technologies, such as mobile applications and social media platforms, on an everyday basis. By drawing on their experiences, we not only contribute to existing scholarship on TFSV and campus sexual misconduct, but also seek to change campus climate for the better.

The research questions we seek to address in this project are:

  1. What impact do digital technologies have on sexual misconduct at universities in Singapore? Among campus sexual misconduct cases, how prevalent is TFSV and why? What are the major forms of TFSV that students experience and recognize on campus and how do they compare across different institutions?
  2. What levels of sexual literacy—building on media literacy—do students have to prepare them for critically evaluating TFSV incidences? What kinds of educational workshops, programs, and training are available at universities in Singapore and how have they been implemented? If such workshops, programs, and training are missing or lacking in certain institutions, what are the barriers and challenges they face in dealing with TFSV and campus sexual misconduct as a whole?

“CASMIDA” is a multi-methodological project which will be carried out over 36 months from January 2022 to December 2024. It will draw on digital data collection and online surveys and elicitation interviews with students, staff, and faculty at each of the following local institutions: National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Yale-NUS College. Our interdisciplinary team of researchers will work together with NUS, NTU, and Yale-NUS students, staff, and faculty to identify gaps in knowledge, communication, and support. Our project is aimed at taking a strong and sustained action on campus sexual misconduct by transforming the culture and technologies that enable TFSV.

Henry, N., & Powell, A. (2015). Beyond the ‘sext’: Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 48(1), 104-118. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004865814524218