The Prevalence Of Sexual Assault On College Campuses Is Too High To Ignore

April 22, 2015 5:08 PM

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He gaped at me in disbelief. Not the "I-had-no-idea-that-this-was-a-problem" kind of disbelief -- the "I-don't-accept-what-you're-telling-me" kind of disbelief. This college senior argued that studies purporting to measure the occurrence of sexual assault suffer from flawed design and suboptimal sample sizes and can therefore be summarily dismissed. I expect a wide range of reactions from the young men I speak to about sexual violence prevention, but utter incredulity is especially difficult to address. What I had expected would be an honest conversation about the role men play in rape prevention devolved into a purely academic dissection of sampling methods and survey instruments. Not quite the call to action I was hoping for.

As a research scientist, I fully appreciate the insistence on reliable data collection methods and clean stats that withstand scrutiny. Unfortunately, this is a challenging standard to achieve when measuring rates of sexual violence, in no small part because rape is so infrequently reported that it ...

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