Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Localize this: LA Times questions rape stats

The Los Angeles Times ran a fascinating opinion piece Sunday challenging the oft-quoted statistic that between one-fifth and one-quarter of young women will be raped by the time they graduate college.

Whether you buy the story by Heather Mac Donald or not, it's one virtually any college newspaper could localize.

"If the one-in-four statistic is correct, campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions," the article says. "No felony, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20% or 25%, even over many years."

MacDonald's conclusion: The rape crisis doesn't exist.

To localize the story, student newspapers could run MacDonald's theory by campus police officials, women's studies and criminology professors, college women's and feminist groups and campus rape crisis centers.

It's almost certain to be a well-read, much discussed story.


Caldad said...

Do not believe a word of the LA Times article. My daughter was raped by her "best friend" on campus. He was arrested and my daughter is still suffering from PTSD. The university administration hid under their desks and did nothing to advise her or support her. She has totally lost faith in the legal system but is speaking out (I am proud to say) on campus to try and end the conspiracy of silence on this cancerous issue in our midst. All fathers need to teach their sons that it is never, never OK to force yourself on a woman.

Anonymous said...

It also depends on the definition of "rape."

On some campuses, if a woman has two drinks and then has sex, she has been raped... even if the sex was consensual (the woman is deemed unable to give consent if she has had two drinks).

By that definition, I would be surprised that only 20-25 percent of women on campus have been raped.