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New Federal Campus Rape Study May Blunt Anti-Assault Efforts
College Sexual Assaults Greatly Exaggerated, Less Than in the General Female Same-Age-Group Population
Rather than the very widely cited statistic that 1 in 5 coeds are victims, the new study shows that the rate of rape and sexual assault among college women is about 1 in 160; even lower than the rate among non-college women of the same age of about 1 in 140.
These rates are also on the decline, says Banzhaf, suggesting that these figures may tend to knock the wind out of efforts to win support for a major crackdown, and more findings of guilty.
"These new authoritative figures may help eliminate what some have called the hysteria about an alleged epidemic of college rapes which has led to many male students being wrongfully found guilty as the federal government and campus anti-rape organizations have pressed for more and more convictions,"
As 28 male and female Harvard law professors reported, even Harvard’s procedures “lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process, [and] are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused.”
Perhaps that’s one reason why almost two dozen courts have ruled in favor of the males, and many more similar law suits are pending, says Banzhaf.
Another effect of the new study may be to make it more difficult for women claiming to have been raped to be believed.
"After a while, the boy who cried wolf wasn't believed, and women who cry rape may likewise not be believed, especially with the accusations of rape at Duke University and at the University of Virginia still fresh in people's minds," says Banzhaf.
Yes, rapes, on campus or off, are very serious and must be fought.
But it doesn't help when the number of incidents are greatly exaggerated, parents are made very fearful of sending their daughters to major universities, and males are found guilty to satisfy the government's pressures for more convictions without much regard for Due Process procedures to protect the innocent, says Banzhaf.
JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
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