A new report on sexual assault released today by the U. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault.In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data.Both sides are no doubt very pleased with themselves. They look at all of the research – except of course the studies that have been “debunked” or “well-refuted”. Or one side of a complicated an interminable debate where both sides have about equal credentials and sway.If you can’t do that, you say “I think that my side of the academic debate is in the right, and here’s why,” not “your side has been debunked”.Otherwise you’re going to end up like the minimum wage debaters, where both sides claim to have debunked the other.
The article compares the older Campus Sexual Assault Survey (which found 14-20% of women were raped since entering college) to the just-released National Crime Victmization Survey (which found that 0.6% of female college students are raped per year).
They write “Instead of 1 in 5, the real number is 0.03 in 5.” So the first thing I will mock The Federalist for doing is directly comparing per year sexual assault rates to per college career sexual assault rates, whereas obviously these are very different things.
You can’t quite just divide the latter by four to get the former, but that’s going to work a heck of a lot better than not doing it, so let’s estimate the real discrepancy as more like 0.5% per year versus 5% per year.
Their only recourse is to deny that the evidence is confusing, to assert that one side or the other has been “debunked”.
Since they’ve already made a principled decision not to study confirmation bias, chances are it’s going to be whichever side they don’t like that’s “already been debunked”.