June 16, 2015

MORE SOCIAL “SCIENCE” FROM THE WAPO: Ashe Schow: New campus sexual assault survey proves just one thing: The Washington Post believes in ‘rape culture.’

But it’s the Post’s definition of “unwanted sexual contact,” which is used interchangeably with “sexual assault,” that really dooms the survey. David French of National Review pointed out that these two words are not synonyms, and can actually include “behaviors that are not only not criminal, but may not — depending on the circumstances — even constitute unlawful sexual harassment (which the Supreme Court has said requires proof of conduct so ‘severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit’).”

Further, as French noted, “unwanted” is also not a synonym for “without consent.” . . .

The Post’s examples of possible conduct (which include “forced kissing, touching of private parts, grabbing, fondling, rubbing up against you in a sexual way”) are similar to the questions asked in two other studies used by activists to claim campus sexual assault is such a big problem that we must enact draconian measures to convict more men. The category is so broad that the 20 percent figure includes everything from a kiss born from a misunderstanding to a forced rape.

The Post also includes a broad category of being “unable to provide consent or stop what was happening.” The reasons listed for being unable to consent were “passed out, drugged, or drunk, incapacitated, or asleep.” Almost everyone agrees that sexual contact while passed out or asleep constitutes rape, but just being drunk or the loosely defined “incapacitated” don’t necessarily point to sexual assault. Adding “drunk” into the mix helps to bump up the numbers without actually giving an accurate picture of criminal activity.

With this in mind, the question about “sexual contact” (the actual questions didn’t even say “unwanted”) while “incapacitated” (which had been defined to include “drunk”), which 14 percent of women answered “yes” to, isn’t as powerful. It could mean that any portion of that refers to women who had sexual contact while drunk, and how many sexually active adults can say they’ve never had drunk sex?

Stigmatizing drunk sex as rape is an assault upon Dionysexuals.

And, seriously, the effect of all these bogus claims is to normalize rape. If 1 in 5 or one in 4 college women is raped — and parents keep sending their daughters to college anyway — then rape must not be such a big deal. And, if you increase the kind of conduct that’s treated as rape to include all sorts of trivial incidents, then just as many women will be guilty of rape as men. Yet it’s overwhelmingly men who are targeted, suggesting that the whole thing is sex discrimination, creating a hostile education environment for male students.

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