The way that leading figures on the political Left cling to disputed data is truly a marvel to behold.
In an appearance on Monday, March 20, 2017, at the Center for American Progress (CAP), Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to former President Obama, repeated the one-in-five college rape statistic at least three times, even regretting that she didn’t know about it before she sent her daughter off to college “in harm’s way.”
“The one-in-five figure is based on the Campus Sexual Assault Study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and conducted from 2005 to 2007,” Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), pointed out in a column which appeared in Time magazine last year. “Two prominent criminologists, Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox and Mount Holyoke College’s Richard Moran, have noted its weaknesses:
“’The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nation’s colleges overall. In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.’”
“Fox and Moran also point out that the study used an overly broad definition of sexual assault,” Sommers noted. “Respondents were counted as sexual assault victims if they had been subject to ‘attempted forced kissing’ or engaged in intimate encounters while intoxicated.”
“Defenders of the one-in-five figure will reply that the finding has been replicated by other studies. But these studies suffer from some or all of the same flaws.”
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