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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sex assaults by campus

The other day a friend asked which college I thought would have the highest rate of sexual assault between Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Florida, and Texas A&M. It sounded like a trick question, so I replied, Harvard. He then sent the following chart:

Number of students/Reported sexual assaults/2007   2008   2009

Harvard      27,954                                     15       15      17
(Rate per million:)                                      537     537    608

Yale            11,701                                     8       13       7
                                                             681   1111    598

Princeton        7724                                    14      18       9
                                                             1813  2330  1165

Florida         49,827                                     2        1       3
                                                               40      20     60

Texas A&M  49,129                                      7        6       0
                                                             142     122      0

My immediate reaction to this was, it can't be true. It's not that I have a high opinion of Ivy scruples, but there's just no way the rate of sexual assault is that much higher there.

The explanation for the disparity has to be that the Ivy League is filled with women who will call you for sexual assault if you try to kiss them without asking permission, whereas Florida and Texas A&M are filled with women who consider date rape normal sex.


Anonymous said...

John, Do you think the figures are more a reflection of the crime rates in the cities in which the colleges are located than they are a commentary on the colleges' student populations? (Though clearly Princeton would be an exception as it is, I think, the least urban of these college settings.) Julie

John Craig said...

Julie --
No, I don't. Cambridge is a relatively safe place, and the student population is well protected by the campus police in any case. The one school where that might be true is Yale, since new Haven has a higher crime rate,but even there, I think the Yale police do a good job of patrolling campus and if there had been incidents involving locals, I suspect we would have heard about it.

Anonymous said...

It may just be that women smart enough to get into the Ivy League feel empowered enough to actually file a claim when they are assaulted. Julie

John Craig said...

Julie --
That's quite possible. Looking at the numbers, the Ivy league numbers actually look closer to reality than the Florida and Texas A&M numbers, which look severely underreported.

Brian Fradet said...

John, I personally think you're probably correct, however, there are so many variables, such as the various methods of reporting, and the degree thereof, that it would be virtually impossible to know the real truth. Like lot's of statistical factoids, they can be massaged to say almost anything. "Empowered"? give me a break....

John Craig said...

Brian --
The only conclusion I couldn't possibly come to from that chart is that guys from Florida and Texas A&M are well-behaved gentlemen.