Rape Culture on Campus Overblown

The numbers justifying claims about rape culture on campus have been massively overstated.

no more rape culture

As we saw in the case of George Will and the self-righteous, lying editors and others who expelled him from the content of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there are forces who are extremely invested in propagating the horror story of rape culture on college campuses. This seems clearly a case of trying to generate an emergency in order to “never let an emergency go to waste.” The liberal media wants to assist in the generation of this alleged emergency. Some are so zealous that they have actually overreached—as in the case of the Rolling Stone story about the University of Virginia, a story that showed no concern for truth.

So now the The Daily Caller brings some further light. They published the following headline: “DOJ: .61 Percent Of Students Are Sexually Assaulted.”

That seemed outrageous to me. Then I noticed the decimal point!

A new analysis of crime data by the Department of Justice has found that collegiate women are less likely to be assaulted than their non-student peers, and their overall victimization rate is closer to one in forty than the oft-cited one in five.

The report, compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), relies upon years of data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), a national survey of tens of thousands of households that seeks to measure the frequency of American crime, both reported and unreported.

The data spans the period from 1995-2013, and looks at females from the ages of 18 to 24, dubbed “college-age.” Over that period, the average number of sexual assaults suffered annually by college-age women not attending school was 65,700, while for those attending school it was substantially lower, at 31,300.

After adjusting for the different number of people in each group, women not attending college were almost 25 percent more likely to be victims of assault, although in 2013 there was no difference in victimization rates between the two groups.

The figures are a major blow to activist narratives which assert that a large-scale “rape culture” on college campuses leads to as many as 20 percent of women in college experiencing a sexual assault. According to the BJS, the actual annual rate is about 0.61 percent. Even multiplied over four years, that suggests only about one in forty collegiate women will suffer an attempted or successful sexual assault.

Make no mistake: this is still too many people. But it is not anywhere close to what the regime has been claiming.