Phi Beta Cons

Re: Re: Re: Rape Prevention

Nathan: I think we’ve both made our points and I don’t want to drag this out, but I would like to note a few things.

First, there’s a simple explanation for the statistical anomaly you point out: The number for college-attending Hispanics is starred in the report, meaning it’s based on a tiny sample size (ten or fewer crimes reported, meaning each report swings the outcome substantially). When you’re looking at a crime with an annual incidence rate of 2 in 1,000 for women ages 12 and up, and then breaking the data down so far you’re looking at Hispanic college students in a narrow age range, even a huge sample size like the National Crime Victimization Survey’s won’t always do the trick.

Further, it’s a survey, not a collection of actual crime reports. It includes crimes that were not reported to police, though some respondents still might fail to report crimes against them or claim crimes occurred that didn’t.

Finally, I’m not sure that conservatives have ceded this issue: We’re the tough-on-crime people. Not only are we the people encouraging women to put hollow-points in rapists’ foreheads, we’re the people saying the Supreme Court was wrong to take the death penalty off the table, the people clamoring for longer prison terms, etc. There is no reason we can’t also be the people pointing out the utter ridiculousness of defining all drunken sex as rape and then churning out statistics based on that definition. Defining rape down is not a sign that one takes rape seriously.

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