Self-defense training for college women

J Am Coll Health. 1992 Jan;40(4):183-8. doi: 10.1080/07448481.1992.9936280.


This article explores the effectiveness of self-defense training for college women. Advocates of self-defense training believe these courses will not only provide women with the physical survival techniques necessary to repel attacks effectively, but that this kind of training will also help to prevent future violence by developing traits such as assertiveness and confidence in individuals. There is evidence that women who convey such characteristics are less likely to be victimized. Opponents argue that self-defense training does not properly prepare women for an attack, does not adequately address acquaintance rape threats, and can provide a dangerous false sense of security to students. This article reviews the relevant literature, outlines practical suggestions for initiatives in this area, and describes a model self-defense course at one university. Guidelines for evaluation and implications for university policy and program decisions that address violence against women on college campuses are included.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Martial Arts*
  • Rape / prevention & control
  • Students*
  • Universities*
  • Violence