Research Paper Potential Topics

The first topic I would be interested in exploring is why sexual assault is so prevalent on college campuses and what should be done to prevent it.   I think that this issue is incredibly important especially to us as college students since it is the most common crime on college campuses.  One in five women (men are still at risk to) will be raped in their life and college students have an increased chance of getting sexually assaulted on campus than just in everyday life.  It is very important that we raise awareness for this issue and work to get people to understand why this is so detrimental to men and women and how it can be prevented.  I am definitely motivated by it because I have personal connections to this movement and being a woman in college puts me at elevated risk for sexual assault.  It is also incredibly important to explore why there are stigmas attached to people who have been sexually assaulted.  For example, men or women may feel that they cannot talk to people about what happened because of what others may think.  So I think another potential question could be why so many people do not report their assault.  This could be due to they blame themselves, they think there is nothing to be done, they don’t want to be shunned by friends, they think people are lying, and others.

Another topic that I would be interested in exploring is mental health on college campuses.  I could pose questions on why mental health is so important to college students, what types of things can cause poorer mental health, and why stigmas are attached to people with mental health and how we can break them.  I believe this is such an important topic for all age groups because in today’s society there is a lot of pressure to be fit and pretty, and smart and successful which can lead to varying issues in people such as depression, eating disorders, and more.  It is important to address the stigmas attached to this issue as well because so many people feel that they can’t talk about their problems because people will judge them or think they are crazy or something, yet everyone goes through hard times so it should not be seen as a negative problem.  It is important to allow students to feel that they have an outlet on college campuses from stress and have support groups if they need to just talk.

Another issue I am interested in is social media and body image.  I could ponder the question of how social media negatively impacts people’s self images of themselves and how we can turn social media into a more positive source.  With social media being a huge part of today’s society, more than ever before, many people struggle with self esteem due to seeing “perfect” bodies or faces online.  This causes people to believe that they must look like that in order to be accepted into society.  However, this can cause serious damage to people’s self esteem and lead to self harm, depression, and eating disorders.  It is very unfortunate that boys and girls are increasingly younger ages are saying that they are unhappy with how their body is.  Thankfully, the media is beginning to showcase a more variety of bodies with campaigns like aerie real or dove real beauty campaign.  On college campuses, along with all the other stresses that are coupled with school and work, adding stress about your body is just one more thing that can push someone over the edge.  It is important to advocate body positivity and acceptance and let people know that they don’t have to look like people on social media.  We should work to appreciate and acknowledge that all bodies are not built the same and that that is okay.

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