Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yes, readers, colleges have an institutional bias to jack up 'rape' stats

A comment under our post about the recent Bucknell rape claim that was dropped raised a point that needs to be debunked: "[W]hy would a [college] hearing panel side with a rape victim, knowing what a black mark it would be against the college?"

First, the use of the term "victim" in connection with a discussion about a hearing before a college disciplinary panel raises a red flag that the comment itself might be tainted with bias.  While a rape claim is being adjudicated before a hearing panel, a rape accuser should never be referred to as a "victim" because it implies that the male who allegedly raped her must, by necessity, be a rapist.  She should be referred to as exactly what she is: an accuser.  He should be referred to as exactly what he is: presumptively innocent.

Second, a given college disciplinary panel might not have any bias whatsoever. There are innumerable fair-minded persons who serve on college disciplinary panels. However, college disciplinary panels are part of larger institutions which often have a troubling interest in classifying conduct as "rape" for reasons other than to do justice in a given case.  One such interest is financial.  Another is to foster the advocacy agenda of the feminist sexual grievance industry.

According to The Center for Policy Integrity, and as reported here and in many other places, at the University of California at Davis, the school’s ex-director of Campus Violence Prevention Program, Jennifer Beeman, fabricated a total of 108 sex offense reports over three years.  While the over-reporting at Davis was unusual for its scope, the institutional interest to misclassify innocent conduct as "rape" hovers over many colleges. Read the following chilling quote from the same study:  "Over the course of our investigation, we spoke with several dozen victim advocates at campuses across the country. Many said they aimed to facilitate reporting of sexual assault in order to make students feel that they had options in pursuing justice, and to reduce the incidence of rape on campus. Some also said that higher rates of reporting helped them make the point that sexual assault deserved attention and funding."  (Emphasis added.)

This is from Heather MacDonald's landmark Campus Rape Myth:

Federal law requires colleges to publish reported crimes affecting their students. The numbers of reported sexual assaults—the law does not require their confirmation—usually run under half a dozen a year on private campuses and maybe two to three times that at large public universities. You might think that having so few reports of sexual assault a year would be a point of pride; in fact, it’s a source of gall for students and administrators alike. Yale’s associate general counsel and vice president were clearly on the defensive when asked by the Yale alumni magazine in 2004 about Harvard’s higher numbers of reported assaults; the reporter might as well have been needling them about a Harvard-Yale football rout. “Harvard must have double-counted or included incidents not required by federal law,” groused the officials. The University of Virginia does not publish the number of its sexual-assault hearings because it is so low. “We’re reticent to publicize it when we have such a small ‘n’ number,” says Nicole Eramu, Virginia’s associate dean of students.

Campuses do everything they can to get their numbers of reported and adjudicated sexual assaults up—adding new categories of lesser offenses, lowering the burden of proof, and devising hearing procedures that will elicit more assault charges. At Yale, it is the accuser who decides whether the accused may confront her—a sacrifice of one of the great Anglo-Saxon truth-finding procedures. “You don’t want them to not come to the board and report, do you?” asks physics professor Peter Parker, convener of the university’s Sexual Harassment Grievance Board.

The scarcity of reported sexual assaults means that the women who do report them must be treated like rare treasures. New York University’s Wellness Exchange counsels people to “believe unconditionally” in sexual-assault charges because “only 2 percent of reported rapes are false reports” (a ubiquitous claim that dates from radical feminist Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 tract Against Our Will). As Stuart Taylor and K. C. Johnson point out in their book Until Proven Innocent, however, the rate of false reports is at least 9 percent and probably closer to 50 percent. Just how powerful is the “believe unconditionally” credo? David Lisak, a University of Massachusetts psychology professor who lectures constantly on the antirape college circuit, acknowledged to a hall of Rutgers students this November that the “Duke case,” in which a black stripper falsely accused three white Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006, “has raised the issue of false allegations.” But Lisak didn’t want to talk about the Duke case, he said. “I don’t know what happened at Duke. No one knows.” Actually, we do know what happened at Duke: the prosecutor ignored clearly exculpatory evidence and alibis that cleared the defendants, and was later disbarred for his misconduct. But to the campus rape industry, a lying plaintiff remains a victim of the patriarchy, and the accused remain forever under suspicion.

How's this for a novel approach, college administrators? The truth. Unvarnished and de-politicized. No more lying about rape to obtain more funding or appease the rape feminists. No more making sacrificial lambs of your paying customers merely because they were born with penises. 

Gee, you might even start attracting young men to college in greater numbers if they felt you weren't so damn hostile to them.