December 16, 2014

Why did so many people fall for Rolling Stone's UVA campus rape story?

Glenn Reynolds in USA Today.  The great campus rape hoax

Americans have been living through an enormously sensationalized college rape hoax, but as the evidence accumulates it's becoming clear that the entire thing was just a bunch of media hype and political opportunism.
the truth is that there's no epidemic outbreak of college rape. In fact, rape on college campuses is — like rape everywhere else in America — plummeting in frequency. And that 1-in-5 college rape number you keep hearing in the press? It's thoroughly bogus, too. (Even the authors of that study say that "We don't think one in five is a nationally representative statistic," because it sampled only two schools.)
The truth  is exactly the opposite. According to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of rape and sexual assault is lower for college students (at 6.1 per 1,000) than for non-students (7.6 per 1,000). (Note: not 1 in 5). What's more, between 1997 and 2013, rape against women dropped by about 50%, in keeping with a more general drop in violent crime nationally.
This kind of hysteria may be ugly, but for campus activists and bureaucrats it's a source of power: If there's a "campus rape crisis," that means that we need new rules, bigger budgets, and expanded power and self-importance for all involved, with the added advantage of letting you call your political opponents (or anyone who threatens funding) "pro rape." If we focus on the truth, however — rapidly declining rape rates already, without any particular "crisis" programs in place — then voters, taxpayers, and university trustees will probably decide to invest resources elsewhere. So for politicians and activists, a phony crisis beats no crisis.
Even one rape is too many, of course, on or off of campus. But when activists and politicians try to gin up a phony crisis, public trust is likely to be a major casualty. It's almost as if helping actual rape victims is the last thing on these people's minds.

Christina Hoff Sommers, the factual feminist, has a new video Here's Why Rolling Stone's UVA Story Went Viral.    NPR implicated.. Public perception about 'rape culture' began to change in 2010 when NPR teamed up with the left-wing Center for Public Integrity to produce a report which described a hidden wave of rape on campus.  Sommers calls the report as the 'worst kind of advocacy research' full of anecdotes and misleading statistics'  such as the claim that 1 in 5 woman could be expected to be raped on campus.  These investigative journalists never thought to investigate what serious researchers and criminologists have exposed as a specious statistic.  People who were skeptical of the story were denounced as 'rape apologists'.  Sommers said the story was not factual but a male-demonizing gothic fantasy nurtured by several decades of hard-line feminist theory.  Rolling Stone is to blame for publishing the story, but It was NPR, the Center for Public Integrity and the U.S. Office of Civil Rights that made it all seem so plausible

EIGHT Campus Rape Hoaxes Eerily Like The UVA Rape Story

Posted by Jill Fallon at December 16, 2014 1:02 PM | Permalink