UPDATED: Texas University Shouldn't Make ‘Victim Studies’ Into an Academic Discipline

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misrepresented the author’s point of view. The author has revised this article to clarify her opinion.


Sam Houston State University in Texas has a first-of-its-kind “Victim Studies” department. This program is illustrative of areas of study that absolutely should not be college degrees. By making every branch of practical work or activism into a degree, academia turns colleges into uber-expensive (and badly run) trade schools.

Many jobs or specializations do not require four extra years of expensive college classes, and in a number of cases competency on the job has gone down since college degrees were required for them. For example, read newspapers or magazines from a hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago. Every time I do so, I marvel at how the journalists then were ten times better writers than many famous reporters and talking heads today. Their descriptive power, wide vocabulary, clever turns of phrase, and narrative force were something many PhDs lack today.

Since journalists have been required to get college degrees and Journalism degrees were offered, journalists are more dishonest than ever — and far less knowledgeable, reasonable, and articulate. Citizens trust the press less than they have almost ever, and I often marvel at the inanity spewing from college-educated reporters. Clearly the “college education for journalists” plan, even if it was well-intentioned, did not go well. Journalism survived and thrived for hundreds of years before Journalism degrees, and it seems fairly obvious that the profession hasn’t improved noticeably since degrees were introduced. In fact, quite the opposite.


Not only that, but by requiring expensive college degrees for careers such as journalism, these jobs have been restricted to those who can afford to spend lots of money or who are lucky enough to get a scholarship. According to Statista, as of 2022, 39% of women and 36.2% of men had completed four years or more of college. That means almost two-thirds of U.S. adults are automatically ineligible for many jobs, regardless of their qualifications, simply because they don’t have college degrees. To return to my journalism example, some of the best writers and political commentators I have known didn’t have college degrees; Rush Limbaugh is just one example of a media great who wasn’t college educated.

But at least a Journalism degree prepares a person for a job, and there are some excellent journalists who earned those degrees before entering the profession. On the other hand, there are truly fatuous degrees such as Women and Gender Studies. There are in fact some professors and graduates of this field who are not ravening leftist radicals, but I argue “Gender Studies” has no place in academia. Universities are supposed to be for the higher branches of knowledge or types of academic expertise that are very difficult to obtain outside of school. They are not meant to include any and every cultural fad, nor are they meant to train people for a specific, non-academic real-world job. If you want job training, go to trade school or get an internship; don’t spend $100,000 and put yourself in debt for life learning something that people used to learn while working. And especially don’t go into debt learning about something that is merely a product of modern political trends.


I’ve even had discussions with people who had advanced Business degrees, who told me their degrees were pretty well worthless, or that technology had caused so many changes that what they learned in school was no longer applicable. And yet there’s still that $100,000 or more to pay off.

From Sam Houston State University’s website:

The Department of Victim Studies is the very first in the nation! In this department, students have the opportunity to work with faculty who are passionate about issues pertaining to victimization and care about sharing that interest and their knowledge with students. Students in both the undergraduate and graduate program will take courses that directly relate to victims. Students also have the opportunity to participate in research with faculty, become involved in the community through civic engagement projects in courses and participate in events through the student organization housed in the department, the Crime Victim Services Alliance (CVSA).

The website adds that this department works with the Crime Victim’s Institute (CVI) to research “victimization.” The website says the Victim Studies Department works with “local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, rape crisis and domestic violence shelters,” and also that the department operates within the College of Criminal Justice.

As noted above, not everything can or should be a college degree. I would expect every right-minded citizen to want to help victims of crime or abuse; but I argue the best venue for that is not college, which simply makes the training exponentially more expensive. (As Prof. Adam Ellwanger wrote for Campus Reform — where he called Victim Studies a “fake discipline” — the more degrees, the more money). Go work with law enforcement and domestic violence shelters. You don’t need to spend $100,000 over four to six years to prepare yourself to do so.


The repeated use of the term “victimization” on the website leads me to another point, which is how long socialism has been infiltrating academia, and how pervasive that infiltration has been. A hundred years ago, nearly any conservative would have laughed at the idea of having a branch of academic research about “victimization.” The use of the term “victimization” is a tool of radical leftists or Communists to advance certain political agendas. I am not questioning the sincerity of everyone in the Victim Studies program; I am sure there are some who really want to help victims of crime and abuse. That does not change the fact that “victimization” is a socialist leftist concept, and, if the entire program is informed by that concept, I question the outcomes.

Clarence Thomas found long ago that the field of Criminal Justice was being overtaken by leftist political theories, and when the Victim Studies Department talks about “criminal justice,” that is important to keep in mind.

Furthermore, what are the results? The value of something should be tested by its effectiveness and impact. Victim Studies might be a relatively new stand-alone discipline, but Criminal Justice is not. America is in the midst of a crime crisis. Our justice system is more politically biased and ineffective than ever before. After decades of criminal justice work, criminals are only getting bolder due to soft-on-crime policies (many of them championed by criminal justice advocates). As of 2021, there was a noted issue with repeat offenders, released to commit the same crimes again and again, and the problem has continued. On the victim side, children are more exploited and trafficked now than ever before in American history. All I’m saying is that clearly the increase in Criminal Justice programs and graduates hasn’t saved the system or made it noticeably better. Maybe we need to re-evaluate our approach.


Related: Now That the World Is Crazier Than Charles Manson, Manson Family Killer Released From Prison

Finally, I want to return to the issue of worldviews informed by socialist buzzwords. “Gender” is the perfect example. “Gender” and “sex” are absolutely not the same; they are not interchangeable concepts. “Gender” is a grammatical construct, and “sex” is a biological reality. But the socialist leftists have spent so many years now pretending the two words are interchangeable that even many conservatives use them that way. After years of calling “sex” by the grammatical construct word “gender,” we wonder why young people are susceptible to believing they can change their sex!

This is a controversial topic, and opinions are likely to clash. But after my own experience in college and talking to dozens of people of all ages about theirs, as well as researching socialist infiltration in universities, I have seen increasingly clearly that often positive-sounding buzzwords and goals mask nothing more than leftist activism or fruitless theorizing. In my opinion, “Victim Studies” should not be a college degree.


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member