“Rape Culture,” Debunked

What is behind the recent hysteria over “rape culture” on college campuses, given that 1) the incidence of rape, like other violent crimes, has been declining for decades, and 2) as one would expect, non-students are more likely to be raped than students? The motivation presumably is political. This report by the Department of Justice indicates how far “rape culture” dogma departs from reality.

The claim that one in five college women is sexually assaulted has been repeated endlessly, including by President Obama. But the DOJ survey says that the incidence is only 6.1 per thousand, or six-tenths of one percent. Moreover, the incidence of actual rape–which is what most people assume you are talking about if you say “sexual assault”–is only 2 per thousand, or two-tenths of one percent. The rate is 50% higher for women in the 18-24 age group who are not students. Click to enlarge:

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Moreover, “sexual assault” is defined to include unwanted “grabbing.” If you ask any woman whether she has ever been grabbed, the number of “yes” answers will be limited only by her interpretation of what you are talking about. Feminists trumpet the fact that most sexual assaults are not reported to the police, but if the “assault” in question is being grabbed, that comes as no surprise. This chart categorizes the reasons women give for not reporting sexual assaults:

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Of the 80% in the not-reported category, 38% are accounted for by “personal matter” or “not important enough” to report. Presumably we are talking about very low-level “assaults” here.

Another aspect of the DOJ report that I haven’t seen commented on is its data regarding sexual assaults against men. If liberals seriously think that college women are being raped at epidemic rates, then what about men? Sexual assaults against men, according to the DOJ report, are one-quarter as frequent as those against women at 1.4 per thousand:

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Is there something about the culture on college campuses that causes men to be sexually assaulted? Perhaps there is: male college students report sexual assaults at five times the rate of non-students. Maybe Rolling Stone could investigate that striking discrepancy.