Trend That is Not A Trend: Sexual Assaults on Campus

In response to the twin notions that sexual assaults are a) increasing and b) particularly prevalent on college campuses where a "rape culture" supposedly exists, comes this recent report from the DOJ on sexual assault prevalence among college aged women.



Update:  For a university the size of UVA (20,000 students, presumably 10,000 women) these data imply about 200 of the current students will be sexually assaulted over their four years.  This is a depressingly large number, and makes one wonder with this many examples to choose from how Rolling Stone managed to find one case that was so obviously heavily embellished (at a minimum) or fraudulent.  200 is, however, an order of magnitude smaller than the 2000 that would be predicted by the "1 in 5" number which is repeated so uncritically by public figures.

As to the declining trend, I understand the issue of under-reporting, though most folks in the know seem to think this type of study (which includes unreported cases) is more accurate than reported crime figures.  But for under-reporting to affect the trend (rather than the absolute numbers) one would have to argue that the reporting percentage is declining, something for which I have never seen evidence and which is a proposition that defies common sense.  Over the last decades, sexual assault victims have gone from being shamed to being protected to being put on a pedestal (given our current fetishization of victimization).  It is hard in this environment to imagine sexual assault reporting rates going down.


  1. Jim A:

    Careful now. You just might be a rape apologist. ;-)

  2. kidmugsy:

    How do they know how many rapes and sexual assaults there were?

  3. MJ:

    A trend that is a trend: claiming that there is a trend of increasing sexual assaults on campus.

  4. marque2:

    Heard on Hannity from Ann Coulter, citing studies that 25 - 41% of rape claims are false.

  5. Mercury:

    When sex or the potential for sex is something that exists when a male and a female are alone the only way to control the total incidence of real + alleged sexual assult is to prevent the male and the female from being alone togerther in the first place.

    If a thrid party authority stacks the deck against the female, females or their gaurdians will avoid situations where they are left alone with males.

    If a third party authority stacks the deck against the male, males or their gaurdians will avoid situations where they are left alone with females.
    In other news, shit flows downhill and your great-grandmother thinks we're all morons.
    Now, back to our regularly scheduled Progress.

  6. marque2:

    Well, false rapes get reported for other reasons. It is quite often that a father is accused of raping or molesting a wife, or child, when there is a divorce. Women do this, because it is hard to disprove, and it helps the woman get child custody, and more alimony, also the guy, wanting to see his kids, is unlikely to go after the wife for false charges. Win-Win for the woman.

    In college situations, knowing that they can destroy a guys life, women will falsely accuse for being dumped, or seeing their former guy date another girl, even needing help with homework could be a valid excuse to threaten rape charges.

    It is estimated some 40% of all rape charges are false.

    Even this chart exaggerates the point. Attempted rape is bad, and should be punished, but it is not rape either.

  7. marque2:

    Here is how PC and Stupid rape has become.

    "78-year-old Iowa legislator is prosecuted for having sex with his wife, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s"

    Someone in the nursing home didn't like old people getting it on.