Monday, March 2, 2009

College newspaper proves 'one-in-four' myth is like a bad meal -- it keeps coming back

"National statistics have consistently suggested that approximately one in four college-age women encounter an experience that meets the legal definition of rape or attempted rape during their college years. " That quote is from this article, which deftly parrots the politically correct ideology of radical gender feminism on the one-in-four stat; the problem is, that stat has been debunked.

Two primers that trace the one-in-four claim back to its disingenuous origins are the well-researched, landmark piece by equity feminist Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers: "An Investigation of Feminist Claims about Rape," and Heather MacDonald's "Campus Rape Myth" in last Winter's City Journal. Their findings won't be repeated here, but Ms. MacDonald makes an intuitive point often lost on the zealots:

If the one-in-four statistic is correct—it is sometimes modified to “one-in-five to one-in-four”—campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency—Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic.