By: Editor-in-Chief Frank Pray
Each week, in a recurring series, Editor Frank Pray will search the archives for a noteworthy article from a graduated staff writer in our publication’s long and successful past. This week’s article is from a staff writer who wishes to remain anonymous due to the politically sensitive nature of his current job and was originally published in 2013. We hope you enjoy the read.
“The Left is Lying About Sexual Assault”
“I saw the statistic for the first time when I was a freshman, written on banners hanging from the ceiling at the Student Union. It’s a chilling number: over a four year period, 1 in 4 undergraduate women at US colleges will be sexually assaulted. The corollary is perhaps even worse. Assuming that there are only a small number of serial sexual assaulters, the inescapable conclusion to 1 in 4 is that close to a quarter of undergraduate men commit rape or sexual assault during their time at the University. It seemed to me at the time then the policy measures being undertaken to combat this alleged rape epidemic were wholly inadequate.
1 in 4 is part of a constellation of statistics derived from feminist scholarship, along with assertions that there are 683,000 rapes a year in the United States , only 2% of rape claims are false, and 90% of rapes go unreported. These numbers provide the underpinning of the theory of “Rape Culture.” The ideology of Rape Culture holds that rape is endemic to the Western world and is used by men to create a climate of terror and intimidation whose purpose is the wholesale oppression of women.
If 1 in 4 were true, you’d expect a mass exodus of American women from coed universities like UNC. Why would any sane parent pay thousands of dollars for their daughters to attend what would amount to a state-subsidized rape camp? But there is no exodus, and female enrollments at American colleges are exploding. At UNC 58% of the students are women. Either the 1 in 4 statistic is an extraordinarily well-kept secret (unlikely considering the banners) or it is false. There are no other rational conclusions.
Proving a negative is normally difficult, but in this case it’s not. The methods used to produce these numbers are highly suspect, but there isn’t any need for me to go into detail on scientific processes or lack thereof. Simple arithmetic is all that’s necessary. There are 11,389 female undergraduates at UNC, and according to 1 in 4, 2,873 of them would experience sexual assaults before graduation. Dividing by four, we’d expect 712 sexual assaults per year at our university. In reality, there are around 12 sexual assaults per year. Feminist scholars would reply that over 90% of sexual assaults are unreported. Leaving aside the difficulty of counting unreported rapes, let’s assume that they are correct. With 12 reported sexual assaults, if 90 percent were unreported, that would leave us with 120 rapes at UNC per year, well short of the 712 rapes asserted by 1 in 4.
So what’s the point? Why do I care about a fake statistic in world filled with lies and damned lies? Because policymakers have had the same horrified reaction to 1 in 4 that I did as a freshman, and they’ve started to take action. My colleague Kelsey Rupp recently dealt with the Department of Education’s attempt to lower convictions standards for sexual assaults on college campuses. Due process rights for men accused of sexual assault have been pared back nationwide. A male student was expelled from the University of South Dakota after a university judicial probe found him guilty of sexual assault. Shortly afterward the police charged his accuser with filing a false report.
The people at the DOE would be right to make changes if 1 in 4 were true, but it isn’t, and these policies can and do increase the risk of wrongful conviction and prosecution for men on campus. False statistics aren’t dangerous in and of themselves, but numbers don’t exist in a vacuum. People make choices based on the information they have. If the facts underpinning the debate are wrong, then our decisions will be wrong. Pure and simple.”