Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-13-2015

Major Department or Program

Gender Studies


Melissa Wilcox


The current socio-political understanding of the experiences of sexual violence has propagated privileged narratives of the experience of sexual violence, while making invisible more complex experiences. My thesis employs crip theory, which draws on the insights of queer theory to radically rethink the social construction of the non-normative body, as a frame to examine how the state has framed the current college sexual assault epidemic. I use this example to argue that the labels of "victims" or "survivors" serve to treat sexual violence in the United States in a similar manner to disability. My analysis allows a better understanding of the hierarchical disparities in a survivor's access to recognition of violence and services for healing and justice.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Disabilities -- Social aspects, Labels -- Social aspects -- ‘victims’, Labels -- Social aspects -- ‘survivor’, Rape -- Psychological aspects -- Disability evaluation, Violence -- Social aspects -- United States, Queer Theory, Sex crimes -- Political aspects, Sociology of disability, Narratives -- Sex crimes, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2015 -- Gender Studies

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Public Accessible Thesis

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