Foreign female pharmacy students may be less likely to experience violent, nonsexual victimization than their peers.

New research published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence examined data from the fall 2012 National College Health Assessment Survey and found that these reduced odds were only found among female international students and not their male counterparts.

The researchers also discovered that international students have lower risk profiles in general. They reported lower rates of drug use, binge drinking, and disability.

“We found that international students may not engage in the same daily or recreational activities as do their domestic peers, therefore reducing their risk of violent victimization,” said principal investigator Leah E. Daigle, PhD, an associate professor in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, in a press release.

Dr. Daigle also noted that men and women experience college in different ways in terms of role expectations and socialization, which leads to different levels of risk. 

The researchers noted that “under-developed executive cognitive functioning” other factors such as new freedoms and lack of structured time can create an at-risk environment.
Students who engage in drug use and partying can increase their odds of becoming crime victims, the researchers added.

“Binge drinking is often perceived as normal college behavior, but alcohol alters perceptions and judgment, decreases reaction time, impairs decision-making, and delays the recognition of danger, increasing students’ attractiveness as targets and decreasing their personal guardianship,” Dr. Daigle noted in the press release.

Female international students may be more protected from violence because they don’t appear to partake in dangerous activities as much as their American counterparts, the researchers concluded.

Simple assault is the most common type of crime seen in schools and colleges, according to the FBI.

From 2000 to 2004, 51,462 cases of simple assault were reported. Drug/narcotic violations were the next most popular crime at 43,294 reports, followed by destruction/damage/vandalism of property at 11,909 accounts.