Skip to comments.Twisting Sexual-Assault Statistics: President Obama’s numbers are hyperbolic.
Posted on 01/28/2014 11:12:10 AM PST by SAVEOURSOULS
It is estimated that one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted during their time there one in five, President Obama said on Wednesday. The occasion for this lecture: He was announcing the creation of a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.
Its a startlingly high number that figured prominently in the leads of media reports on the announcement. As NRO contributor Heather Mac Donald pointed out the last time the administration bandied it about, if it were true it would mean that women at American colleges experience a rate of sexual assault astronomically higher than anything seen in Americas most violent cities (in Detroit, for example, there were 36.8 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009, a rate of 0.037 percent.)
But is it accurate? While estimates in this range have been reported since the 80s, the report released in conjunction with the presidents creation of the task force cites a pair of more recent studies for the figure. One of them, The Campus Sexual Assault Study, prepared for the National Institute of Justice in 2007, found that 19 percent of women reported experiencing completed or attempted sexual assault since entering college. The number who experienced a completed sexual assault was 13.7 percent; 4.7 percent of respondents experienced physically forced assaults (3.7 percent of these physically forced assaults were rapes). Eleven percent of women were assaulted while incapacitated by alcohol or drugs.
The problem with lumping all of these figures together is that they cover a range of incidents, some of them inarguably rape or lesser kinds of sexual assault, and others that are harder to categorize that way. The best evidence that this ambiguity exists is that many of the women classified by researchers as having experienced rape or sexual assault do not consider this to have been their experience. The NIJ study found that more than 60 percent of women who were victims of incapacitated rape did not think they had been raped, which reflects the difficulty of determining what constitutes consent in drunken sex, even for the people involved. Such studies consistently find this discrepancy between womens self-reported attitudes and how researchers classify their responses.
To understand how this works, consider another study to which the presidents report points, finding that 20 percent of women are raped in their lifetimes. In its definition of rape, the CDCs National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence survey includes sex that occurred when the victim was drunk or high, regardless of whether she was incapacitated or unable to give consent. Participants were asked to respond to the question: When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to give consent, how many people ever had vaginal sex with you? A woman could list instances of consensual sex she had while intoxicated that she did not consider to be rape that were in fact not rape and the researchers would nonetheless classify her as a rape victim.
None of this is to deny that rape obviously can and frequently does occur in cases where alcohol is involved. Nor is it to say that the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses is not a serious problem. It is. It is serious enough to merit addressing without resorting to inflated statistics. And these numbers point to a larger problem with the culture of our colleges. The bogus one in five formulation does more to obscure the issue than to honestly address it.
Then again, to justify the sweeping federal response that the president has ordered to address the problem, he probably needs a bit of hyperbole.
Using this definition of sexual assault how do you determine who is the assaulter and who is the victim when the man and the woman are equally intoxicated?
I wonder what was the rate of “sexual assault” in the Clinton White House, under the definition used in the study cited by President Obama?
And woe be to the person who says, “How was she dressed?” or “How much had she had to drink?”, or “Had she been openly flirting earlier?” You absolutely can’t mention those things. They are not an excuse for rape, but they are most certainly circumstances that lend themselves to being taken advantage of, and to deny they play a role is idiotic.
well sure, because men are animals. and if you’re white, Christian and heterosexual, then you’re an anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, rapist.
I think we should just put ankle bracelets on the lot of you.
And then, a single woman can go backpacking by herself in India or volunteer in refugee camps for Moslems.
It’s very simple.
An intoxicated woman is not responsible at all for anything she does or anything that happens to her.
An intoxicated man is fully responsible for anything he does.
I have always wondered how anybody who gets really, really drunk can be sure even in their own mind if the sex they engaged in was consensual or not.
I read a report, can’t find it now, comparing rape rates in college towns vs the rape rate reported on the campus of the college in town- if true you are thousands of times more likely to get raped at MIT than in Cambridge, likewise Princeton U vs Princeton, NJ, UCLA vs Los Angeles.
I think the definition is important.
So 0bama is going to end sexual assault in the military, and now on campus. If he’s using a skeevy definition of sex assault, the real goal may be regulations regarding how we act and what we are allowed to express to others.
“I gotcher back! (Especially yours, Reggie)”
If that 20% was correct what parent in would let their daughter attend college without body guards?
quite wonderful actually. I would have married that girl - it was the least I could have done . . .
“They are not an excuse”
Harking back to the Kobe Bryant case, it would appear that a woman going to a man’s hotel room, removing her clothing, getting into bed, and allowing the man to penetrate her does not imply consent.
Ever notice that the wierdo we have for president seems to be obsessed with sex?
Obama has been more focused on sex, recreational sex, condoms, sex, birth control pills, sex, homosexualism, sex, lesbians, transexuals and rape than all previous presidents combined.
He definately has a few screws loose upstairs along with some unresolved issues about his own parentage.
If he was as interested in promoting job creation as he is in promoting sex the economy would be booming.
The same folks who have done everything to exile morality and self-restraint from American life squawk the loudest about sexual assault and harassment. Go figure.
That’s a little unfair to the prez.
He is simply reflecting the obsessions of his party and its base.
In today’s hyper “ready to be offended” mode of the feminazis a butt slap or propositioning a girl is a SEXUAL ASSAULT. Because the girl felt “uncomfortable.”
Our young girls are programmed about sex by the TV, movies, rock & roll music and even through sex education in schools and the one constant messages is that it is normal to have premarital sex.
When they do enter college some are all hot to trot to have sex with college men. These college men then begin to see little or no sexual boundaries and succumb to their urges.
When alcohol is introduced, lines are blurred and sometimes these college girls simply decide to “hook up” with the college men and have sex with no strings or responsibility attached all before getting married.
With lines blurred from alcohol and hormones, these women do things things that they may later regret and then place the responsibility for their actions on the men who these girls decided to get in bed.
Sometimes, the college men are falsely accused of sexual assault by these college girls who were at the time all willing to engage in the premarital sex.