But I was inspired to think about a Pigouvian tax on a societal institution where that is clearly not the case: Higher Education. As we have been assured by all the leading authorities, 1 in 5 women who attend college is raped. We thus need to tax higher education institutions at a level sufficient to compensate the 20% of their female students who are victimized. Taxes laid on gross revenues would probably be passed on to students, so we’ll need to tax the real stakeholders in universities who — since there are no shareholders — are faculty and staff. Assume an average damage of $1 million for a rape — surely no one would dare suggest a lower figure — multiply that by 20% of the female student body size, and apply that tax to faculty and staff salaries. That may not generate enough revenue, but we could also tax gross sports revenues — where taxes can’t easily be passed on –to make up the difference.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why does UNC have such a high sexual assault rate? Because it defines nearly everything as sexual assault.
If you torture data enough, it will tell you whatever you want.
I’ve been writing on the social turmoil surrounding rape, and outlandish campus accusations of rape, for some time. I dealt with the issue most recently in Rape: The Consequences Of Bad Choices in June of 2016, and before that, Campus Rape And Social Justice: All Men Are Rapists in March of 2016 Perhaps most relevant to this article is Rape Investigation: Reality v. Narrative from March of 2015.
Contemporary urban conventional knowledge holds that 20-25% of all women attending college are rape victims. As Mark Twain wrote:
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Item: Former Vice President Joe “Creepy Touch” Biden, when announcing that the Obama White House was creating a task force to address campus rape, stated “One in five of every one of those young women who is dropped off for that first day of school, before they finish school, will be assaulted in her college years.”
In fact, that statistic goes far beyond being a lie or a damn lie. It’s a complete fraud.
Here’s the key takeaway:
[That “statistic”] comes from a study conducted over the internet at two large universities one in the Midwest and one in the South. The survey was anonymous no one’s claims were verified and terms were not clearly defined. In round numbers, a total of 5,000 women participated. Based on their responses, the authors, not the participants, determined that 1,000 had been victims of some type of non-consensual or unwanted sexual contact and — voila! — from one vaguely worded unscientific survey we suddenly arrived at a rape culture on college campuses. Tellingly, the study authors have since explicitly stated that it’s inappropriate to use their survey to make that claim. Much more comprehensive data from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics or “BJS” estimates that about one in 52.6 college women will be victims [sic] of rape or sexual assault over the course of four years. That’s far too many, but it’s a long way from one in five. The same BJS data also reveal that women in college are safer from rape than college aged women who are not enrolled in college — but the truth doesn’t serve the purposes of feminist activists or vote seeking politicians. Lies work much better and the one in five claim is tantamount to a lie.
Let me say it again: the notion of a campus “rape culture” is a grotesque lie, based on a manifestly flawed study, that the Left peddles because it allow them to control young women and destroy young men. As Glenn Reynolds likes to point out, no sentient adult actually believes this statistic because no loving parent would ever allow his or her child to go to a place that has a rate rape comparable to the rate in South Africa, one of the most sexually violent countries in the world. The only ones who believe these statistics are college administrators and the terrified female students brought to heel by these statistical lies.
According to Time, a once reputable magazine, a Pentagon study claims that, at some military installations, more than 500 women, and quite a few men, are sexually assaulted every year:
A newly released Pentagon study revealed that many sexual assaults in the U.S. military occur across the globe at a relatively small number of bases and naval ships, including some installations where more than 500 incidents occurred in a single year.
The 119-page study, conducted by Rand Corporation, surveyed American service members to uncover where troops were most at risk of sexual assault and harassment. In many cases, installations with large populations of younger, single, and more-junior-ranking service members had a greater probability of these incidents occurring.
“Each service member’s estimated risk of being sexually assaulted in the next year depends, to a surprising extent, on his or her duty assignment to a particular unit, command, and installation,” the study said.
Rand said more than 1700,000 active duty service and Coast Guard members completed an online sexual assault and sexual harassment survey fielded in August and September 2014. More than 560,000 were invited to participate. [The actual number is 170,000 not, as Times’ typo implies, 1,700,000.]
A total of 6,769 men and women reported assaults in the year that ended Sept. 30, up from 6,172 a year earlier. The reports came in from uniformed service members and civilian workers. It was the highest number of reported assaults since at least 2006, the last year the Pentagon has available on the data.
There are a few points to be made based upon the above.
First, assuming all those sexual assaults are rapes (which they are not), the U.S. military, made up of young men and young women in the prime of their sexual life, has a rape rate that’s lower than 4%. Keep in mind, please, that we’re repeatedly told that America’s college campuses have a rape rate of 20% to 25%. Parents, if you want to keep your young’uns safe, send them to the military, not to college.
Second, back during WWII, when women were mobilized for the war, men and women were kept strictly segregated and chaperoned. The people in charge might have had Victorian minds (like sinks, you know), but they certainly understood that, if you want to prevent rape, you don’t mix and mingle the sexes, especially when it comes to bedrooms and bathrooms.
Third, if you read the entire Time article, you’ll note something interesting — it never once defines what constitutes “sexual assault.” Only near the end does one learn that the number of “sexual assaults” claims includes everything from sexual harassment to actual rape. Depending on how a respondent to the survey defines harassment, that’s like saying that the military is filled with terribly ill people, provided that one includes in the data set of illness everything from hangnails to cancer.
ICYMI, Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor who questioned Christine Blasey Ford last week during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee released the following analysis and as expected, rabid Marxists are not happy. Mitchell’s nine page analysis obliterated the Ford narrative which most of us knew from day one was full of holes. According to Mitchell, […]
A potential draft of new federal campus sexual assault policies was leaked this week, so expect a new round of false and misleading statistics to be shared by those who claim due process “protects rapists” and “hurts victims.”
Rape and sexual assault are serious offenses, and shouldn’t be watered down to create a narrative that America is somehow the rape capital of the world, nor should we pretend that non-offenses are offenses. That hurts real victims.
I’ve taken down every one of these statistics before — sometimes many, many times — but it’s time to debunk them all in one place. So here we go.
1-in-5 (or 1-in-4 or 1-in-3) Women Will Be Sexually Assaulted During College
Studies purporting to find such an astronomical amount of sexual violence on college campuses (numbers thousands of times higher than war-torn Congo or Detroit, America’s most dangerous city) suffer from many of the same flaws. They are often not nationally representative, are produced by women’s organizations determined to find women as oppressed victims in America, and are self-reported — a notoriously unreliable form of data.
The Majority Of Campus Rapes Are Committed By A Small Number Of Men
Sometimes known as the “serial predator” study, this one from David Lisak has been around for decades and was debunked just a few years ago. It claims that “90%” of rapes on campus are perpetrated by a few men.
For starters, Lisak didn’t conduct the study himself but used data from studies conducted by his former grad students, who didn’t limit their data to college students. As in the 1-in-5 stat above, this one was also not nationally representative, as the surveys were conducted near a commuter college with participants who didn’t live on campus and may not have even been students.
The surveys were anonymous, yet Lisak has claimed he conducted follow-up interviews with men who admitted to committing multiple rapes (one questions whether such admissions would be so freely given to a stranger in the first place). Lisak did conduct 12 interviews during his dissertation research three decades ago, but he then combined those cherry-picked interviews into a single character — called “Frank” — which he used to tell school administrators how dangerous their campuses were. No such monster as Frank actually exists, nor is he a common problem across the country.
False Accusations Are Rare
The truth is, we don’t know how many accusations are truly false, and even if we did, one can’t walk into an investigation assuming they already know the answer.
We’re often told that “just” 2% to 10% of rape accusations are false. College administrators are told this when “trained” on how to handle accusations of sexual assault. The implication is clear: Women just don’t lie about rape, so nine times out of ten, you’d be safe in assuming the accused is guilty.
But that statistic is wildly misleading, as it only applies to accusations made to police that are proven false. Proving a negative is often impossible, especially in a “we had sex but it was consensual” situation. On college campuses, there is no punishment for a false accusation and thus no fear, as there is with lying to the police.
Further, the proven false statistic is one category of sexual assault classifications. The other categories do not all equate to “true,” so implying that 90% to 98% are true is downright false and prejudicial. Other categories include “baseless,” wrongly reported as sexual assault, cases without enough evidence for an arrest, cases with enough evidence but for some reason outside police control an arrest is not made, and cases where there is enough evidence for an arrest. Of the cases that lead to an arrest, a small percentage actually go to trial and result in a “guilty” finding.
Using the same logic as the peddlers of this statistic, one would only be able to say that 3% to 5% of rape accusations are true, since that’s how many return a “guilty” finding.
It’s Bad That 91% Of Colleges And Universities Said They Received No Rape Reports
I include this one because while one would think it would be a good thing that reports of sexual assault aren’t rampant on college campuses, the “scholars” at the American Association of University Women think it’s a bad thing. Because they’ve thoroughly bought into the debunked statistics above, no reports must mean that schools are somehow discouraging victims from coming forward or are sweeping reports under the rug. It’s hard to believe either of these is the case when the media, lawmakers, federal institutions, and Hollywood are constantly claiming huge swaths of the female population are sexually assaulted on college campuses and begging people to come forward.
1-in-3 Men Would Rape If They Could Get Away With It
This statistic was quickly debunked as soon as it appeared in 2015. A woman who admitted to me at the time that she was seeking grant money (a good motive for finding alarming statistics in one’s survey) claimed her study found that a whopping one-third of surveyed men had “intentions to force a woman to sexual intercourse.”
Wow, right? Except, as I’ve pointed out with previous misleading statistics, this one suffers from many of the same flaws. It’s not nationally representative, and the answers of just 73 men were used to arrive at the 1-in-3 number blasted out by the media and women’s groups. Of those 73 men, 23 were found to have those intentions, based on the researchers own definition of what constituted bad intentions. Just nine guys said they would actually rape a woman. Nine guys do not an epidemic make.
These guys may not have been taking the survey seriously or they were answering a question from Plato’s Republic: How many people would commit a crime if they knew they wouldn’t be caught? One would believe many people would answer affirmatively to such questions about various laws, but that doesn’t mean they’d actually commit them. One can never know if they will get away with it.
As regular readers know, I’ve often written about the campus rape hoax. I don’t suggest rapes don’t occur on college campuses. Clearly, every crime that occurs elsewhere can occur on a campus. However, during the Obama Administration, rape, like virtually everything else, was politicized, and a “guidance” letter was issued to ensure progressive narratives would be […]
Put me with Pence and Coates. I also have rules. I’ll have lunch alone with female colleagues, but in more than 20 years of marriage, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve had dinner alone with a woman not my wife. And I’ve managed that without ever disadvantaging or discriminating against any woman I worked for or with. I have other rules as well. For example, I travel quite a bit, but when I’m traveling alone I don’t eat or sit at bars — especially hotel bars — unless there is no other place to sit.
I have those rules not because I think that without guardrails I’m going to assault someone, but because I understand human nature and because I respect women. I don’t want any woman to feel like I’m putting her in an uncomfortable or compromising position. This may come as a surprise to critics of the Pence rule, but there are quite a few women who don’t want to dine alone with male bosses. There are quite a few women who believe that dinner (especially with drinks) is unnecessarily intimate and that business can be conducted in the office or with other colleagues present.
But don’t tell that to Pence’s critics. This week Christianity Today’s Katelyn Beatty took to the pages of the New York Times to write “The Christian Case Against the Pence Rule.” Given her intelligence and theological knowledge, I was surprised to see this paragraph:
The Pence rule arises from a broken view of the sexes: Men are lustful beasts that must be contained, while women are objects of desire that must be hidden away. Offering the Pence rule as a solution to male predation is like saying, “I can’t meet with you one on one, otherwise I might eventually assault you.” If that’s the case, we have far deeper problems around men and power than any personal conduct rule can solve.
No, no, no. Let’s break this down in the simplest terms possible. The Pence rule (or its variations) arises from an accurate view of man’s fallen nature. In this context, it means three things.
First, when men and women are alone — especially at night, especially with drinks — there is a far greater chance of mutual or one-sided attraction (not assault) than when they’re in groups or in professional settings. Even if they don’t intend the attraction. Even if they’re happily married. If you doubt this reality then, well, I don’t know what to tell you. Spend any time in professional settings, and you’ll understand that workplace attraction happens, and when it happens it tends to happen not in the midst of conference calls but rather in those settings that get far more personal and less professional.
Second, variations of the Pence rule protect both sides from reputational harm. It’s a simple fact that observing a married man alone at dinner with a woman other than his wife can start tongues wagging, and it’s also a fact that leaders of Christian ministries have often had to take extreme measures to protect against intentional sabotage of their reputations. I know leaders who never travel alone in part because of actual past hostile attempts to place them in compromising positions (with photographic evidence). If we should understand anything in 2017 it’s that our politics is vicious and poisonous. The more high-profile you become, the more careful you should be.
Third, surprise, surprise but there are actual predators out there, and women who operate under some version of the Pence rule gain an additional layer of protection. Moreover, corporate implementation of the rule is like a flashing sign that says, “This workplace aims to be safe and professional.”
Beatty says, “All the people I know who keep the rule are men.” This is yet another puzzling statement. Every Christian ministry I know that imposes the rule on its employees does so without regard to gender, and these are ministries that employ multiple powerful women. In fact, almost every powerful Christian woman I know keeps a version of the Pence rule.
But here’s where critics of the Pence rule have a point. If you’re in a position of authority, you should endeavor to create a workplace where equal opportunity is evident and gender-based favoritism is absent. It is unfair to take Luke out for dinner and never take out Laura. The better approach is to keep business matters in business settings, and that includes when it’s late and folks need to eat.
But due process appears to be making a comeback. By K.C. Johnson’s count as of Sepember 8, 59 accused students had received at least partially favorable rulings from judges after they sued their schools for gender-bias and denying due process. I believe this count is now over 60.
Some of these judges decried schools shifting the burden of proof onto accused students, some stated cross-examination was essential, others noted the potential ramifications for expelled students that activists seem to ignore, and others simply said the campus kangaroo courts were “unfair.” These are just four examples of due process wins for students, but there are dozens more.
Those are just the judicial wins. Accused students have been racking up settlements with their universities for years, with a seeming uptick in 2017. Some of the settlements came from high-profile cases, like Columbia University settling with the man accused by “Mattress Girl.”
With court wins in the background, DeVos rescinded the Obama-era guidance that led to this chaos and denial of civil rights for accused students. She promised to create guidance using the proper notice-and-comment period that Obama’s education department had ignored. She promised to hear from all parties with related interests, including victims and self-described victims, accused students, lawyers, schools, and others. The system she hopes to create will benefit both accusers and the accused, neither of whom are being served well now.