The University of New Hampshire has released a document entitled “Unwanted Sexual Experiences at UNH,” reports Inside Higher Ed. From September 2005 to February 2006 (just six months), “25 percent of women and 10 percent of men reported at least one unwanted contact” — and “7 percent of women and 4 percent of men report unwanted sexual intercourse.”
Here’s how the report defines “unwanted”:
those situations in which you were certain at the time that you did not want to engage in the sexual experience and you either communicated this in some way (e.g., you said no; you protested; you said you didn’t want to; you physically struggled; you cried; etc.), or you were incapacitated (e.g., drunk, passed out, etc.).
In the context of Heather Mac Donald’s “The Campus Rape Myth,” I’ve previously discussed the incidence of sexual assault on campus. Unfortunately, in verifying or rejecting Mac Donald’s theory (that rape is rare on campus; more commonly, students get drunk and have consensual sex, which bureaucrats later deem male-on-female rape), this report is of limited usefulness.
One problem is this. The document breaks down the incidents along several lines — but it doesn’t clearly lay out why each incident was classified as “unwanted” to begin with.
Take these three statistics. Seven percent of women reported unwanted sexual intercourse; 3 percent of women reported unwanted sexual intercourse due to force or the threat of it; 11 percent of women said they’d had sex when they were too intoxicated to consent. Remember, under the report’s definition of “unwanted,” a woman must both (A) not want the experience and (B) either make that clear or be too drunk to.
Presumably, all 3 percent of the “force or threat of it” women meet this guideline. So to add up to seven, are we just supposed to assume that 4 of the 11 percent of the intoxicated didn’t want the experience, and the rest did? Or is there a third type of “unwanted” situation — maybe when a woman says no but does not physically resist, so the man need not threaten or use force? Or is there significant overlap — situations where the woman was drunk and the man threatened or used force?
To look at the second problem, let’s take the low-end estimate, and assume that 3 percent of women were forcibly raped, and the remaining 4 percent got drunk and consented. I’d like to re-post part of an analysis I did before:
I took the time to look at the National Crime Victimization Survey (PDF), a survey of a cross-section of Americans about crimes they’ve experienced, whether or not they reported them to police. Per 1,000 women 12 and older, 1.4 said they’d suffered rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault in 2005. Looking at the age of the victims, those in the 16-19 group had it worst, with 3.2 2005 rape victims in every 1,000 respondents. (The latter includes men and women, so the female rate is probably around 6 per 1,000.)
So the most-assaulted demographic group had a rate of about 6 per 1,000 over a whole year. If 3 in every 100 female students at the University of New Hampshire get forcibly raped every six months, that’s at least ten times the rate in the general population. Either the 3 percent number is high, or there really is a campus rape crisis of ridiculous proportions — and we need to sex-segregate higher ed immediately.