Wednesday, June 1, 2016

'It is important to not have debates' about whether there is a college rape epidemic

At UC Santa Barbara, Young Americans for Liberty recently sponsored a talk titled, "Is there a Rape Epidemic?: Rape Hysteria, Due Process, and Free Speech." The sponsors of the event took issue with the college rape epidemic meme, and that one-in-five college women are raped.

On the Facebook event listing for this event, the sponsors explained: "This event was intended to be a panel discussion, with propositions from both sides of the argument. Yet, we have found it incredibly difficult to find anyone who is willing to present the affirmative position — that there is indeed a rape epidemic on college campuses, and that the measures taken by the universities to combat these problems are therefore fair / justified."

The Facebook listing goes on to state the following: "We have contacted every single feminist studies professor at UCSB… but none are willing to present the affirmative position." It then quotes a professor from the school's Feminist Studies Department who purportedly said, “It is important to not have debates.”

Read it again: "It is important to not have debates." That's a line ripped right from the sexual grievance cartel's playbook.

Remember when Sen. Claire McCaskill was asked about the one-in-five stat in light of the DOJ study that shows that the real number isn't 1 in 5, it's 1-in-52 (which means it isn't 20 percent of all college women, it's 1.9 percent)? McCaskill said it was "irritating that anybody would be distracted" by that statistic.

"Irritating."

Aside from all the usual problems with college rape studies that skew the results, by far the biggest is this: the one-in-five statistic assumes that every claim of sexual assault in a college sexual assault survey was an actual sexual assault. That's just silly. A Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation survey  shows that 44% of college women--that's approaching half--think that when a woman gives a guy a "nod in agreement," that isn't enough for consent. A bare majority of college women (just 51%) think that it is. So when a college women tells a survey questioner she had sex without her consent, we're supposed to automatically assume she was sexually assaulted without knowing the circumstances? That's laughable, of course.

The fact is, any time sexual assault claims are subjected to scrutiny and competing evidence of innocence (that is, any time claims are objectively investigated), the majority can't be said to be either assaults or non-assaults. While there are relatively few claims that are conclusively false, there are also relatively few claims that are conclusively sexual assault.

The sexual grievance cartel is correct--there should not be any debate about whether there is a college rape epidemic: there isn't. It's irritating when they say there is.