Campus Rape Expert Who Misrepresented His Work Faces Powerful New Criticism

Mary Koss comes out swinging against David Lisak's serial predator theory.



Dr. Mary Koss—a scientist, feminist, and acclaimed expert on the subject of campus sexual assault—says the psychologist who popularized the serial predator theory of student-on-student violence has misrepresented his research for years.

"It's one of the most egregious examples of a policy with an inadequate scientific basis that lives on because it offers a simplistic solution," said Koss, in an interview with Reason.

Her analysis supports the findings of a recent Reason investigative series scrutinizing the work of Dr. David Lisak, a psychologist and former University of Massachusetts-Boston professor whose faulty 2002 study on undetected rapists persuaded advocates, policymakers, and even the White House that most campus rapists are serial predators.

Koss, an American Regents' Professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, criticized Lisak for broadening his data and misapplying the serial predator theory to the majority of campus rapists.

Lisak's 2002 study, "Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists," produced the statistics he relied upon to make the claim that most campus rapists were repeat perpetrators rather than one-off offenders. But a detailed investigation spearheaded by Reason contributor Linda LeFauve found significant flaws with the study, which was actually based upon surveys that had nothing to do with student-on-student violence.

In a companion piece, I presented evidence that the vast misrepresentation of the study's scope and subject matter was at least partially Lisak's own fault. When I asked Koss for her thoughts on Lisak's complicity, she vehemently agreed with me that the man himself was responsible: for 13 years, Lisak has "seriously advocated" that colleges should adopt his strained interpretation of the data, she said.

"It didn't happen by accident," she said.  "He played more than a role. He described his information as being relevant to serial rape from day one."

Koss isn't someone typically associated with campus rape contrarianism. In fact, her early work on campus sexual assault can best be described as anti-contrarian: It contributed to the well-known "1 in 5" statistic, which holds that an extremely large percentage of college women are victims of sexual assault. This thinking became conventional wisdom but has since generated its own share of detractors (Reason writers included). She considers herself "a scientist informed by feminism," according to a profile of her in National Journal.

Her most recent work, however, has brought her squarely into conflict with Lisak's views. Koss is a co-author of a new paper, "Trajectory Analysis of the Campus Serial Rapist Assumption," taking issue with the "surprisingly limited" scientific basis for the campus serial predator theory. The paper's authors (Kevin M. Swartout, Jacquelyn W. White, Martie P. Thompson, Antonia Abbey, Alexandra L. Bellis, and Koss) found:

Although a small group of men perpetrated rape across multiple college years, they constituted a significant minority of those who committed college rape and did not compose the group at highest risk of perpetrating rape when entering college. Exclusive emphasis on serial predation to guide risk identification, judicial response, and rape-prevention programs is misguided. To deter college rape, prevention should be initiated before, and continue during, college. Child and adolescent health care professionals are well positioned to intervene during the early teenage years by informing parents about the early onset of nonconsensual sexual behavior.

The disagreement between Swartout et al and Lisak isn't merely academic. Whether most campus rapists are serial predators or single-instance offenders is an important question with enormous policy implications.

Per Lisak's thinking, educational efforts and awareness campaigns will do little good to deter serial rapists. Instead, it makes sense to prioritize the identification and swift removal of rapists from the campus community—since most of them have raped before and will do so again. To that end, Lisak has advised college administrators to treat rape disputes between students as opportunities to apprehend and excise serial rapists.

"I agree with him that these kinds of serious, repetitive rapists need to be dealt with harshly and definitively," said Koss. "What I'm trying to raise people's awareness of is all men who rape during college are not alike."

In fact, most of them are not serial predators, according to Koss. They are young men, uneducated about mature relationships, responsible drinking, and laws relating to consent. They can be taught better behavior—and that, in some sense, should be the university's mission.

"These are educational institutions, so at our foundation we have some faith that people can change over time," she said.

Some perpetrators should be dealt with via the criminal justice system, Koss said. But others might be best served by something Koss calls "restorative justice." Such a process can take many forms, but involves dialogue between the students involved in a rape dispute. The goal is not necessarily to punish a rapist, but to allow both parties to achieve closure on the incident and grow from it.

Koss believes that universities—which possess significant resources to assist students who are dealing with trauma but are often unequal to the task of fairly adjudicating sex crimes—are an ideal vehicle for restorative justice in cases where victims are looking for validation and assistance instead of punitive justice.

"In my work with the restorative processes, there are a couple of preconditions," said Koss. "One precondition is that due process is observed. A second precondition is that victims' rights are observed. A third thing is that participation is voluntary by both people."

Those guarantees might not set due process advocates at ease entirely, given how poorly university administrators have handled sexual assault in the past. But voluntary university-sponsored mediation would still be a vast improvement over the current regime, which requires that universities play judge, prosecutor, and jury at mandatory, farcical extra-judicial proceedings.

There is a big obstacle standing in the way of this approach, however: the federal government. In the last few years, the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has consistently told universities that federal law—Title IX of the Higher Education Act, specifically—requires them to adjudicate rape disputes.

Koss's solution would also no doubt be opposed by many victims' advocates—the Emma Sulkowicz types, for instance—who see expulsion as the only just outcome when a student is accused of rape, even if not all victims actually prefer that outcome, according to Koss.

And that's why it matters so much whether Lisak's theory is accurate or—as recent evidence shows—uncertain. If most student rapists are irredeemable villains, it's easier to justify draconian efforts to hunt them down and expel them from campus. But if most student rapists are one-off offenders—ignorant about relationships, capable of growth—school might actually be the right place for them.

The validity of Lisak's work and influence is very much an open question within the community of experts who have studied sexual assault. But it remains unscrutinized by policymakers who have been all-too eager to implement Lisak's suggestions and media figures who have cheered them for doing so. The serial predator theory casts a long shadow over the campus rape crisis, but neither rape victims nor accused students are well-served by the sacrosanct status it has achieved.

NEXT: The Obama Administration's War on the Press Could Become a Touch More Literal

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  1. Good work on this.

    Grumble grumble COSMO!

    1. Am I the only one reading this that the rape problem identified here on campus isn’t one actual rape, but a drunken sexual encounter that has been redefined as rape by gender partisans?

      Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. BTW, I’m hanging that off of this quote: “In fact, most of them are not serial predators, according to Koss. They are young men, uneducated about mature relationships, responsible drinking, and laws relating to consent. “

        1. Why do I suspect that, for a large proportion of these “inadequate consent” rapes involving drunk young people. you could equally well say this:

          They are young men women, uneducated about mature relationships, responsible drinking, and laws relating to consent.

          Why is it that only irresponsible young men are held accountable, anyway?

          1. In the case of mutual intoxication, all attempts at consistent equality-based explanations should be hilarious. I’d be interested in earnest (and other) attempts.

            I’d contrast that with cases in which female teachers are sentenced for having sex with male students (statutory rape). Consider seriously how most men and boys react to that. The a-priori assumption, categorical legal fiction – that boys are criminally harmed is ridiculous. (Again, I’m interested in evidence/research to the contrary.) It’d make more sense to have the burden of proof be with the state (beyond reasonable doubt), esp. instead of having a fiction be exclusive, indomitable proof. It looks to me like people think that young women need that protection. Young men get it because otherwise a substantial difference between (young) men and women would be admitted, namely that (young) women are weaker. It’s interesting that boys generally don’t seem to be harmed by that kind of sex, while young women of the same age allegedly are, despite being cognitively more mature.

            1. However damage can sit hidden for decades. Also teh damage of female teacher abusing male pupil has been covered in song as well – cf Rod Stewart maggie May.

              1. That’s true

          2. – “Why is it that only irresponsible young men are held accountable, anyway?”

            Because womyn are intelligent, strong and independent people who should be treated with respect as the mature adults they are….unless there’s blame to be apportioned, in which case they’re naive, weak and defenseless children.

          3. Because the cunts are in charge.

          4. “Why is it that only irresponsible young men are held accountable, anyway?”

            Only penises are evil, haven’t you heard?

        2. That does stand out, JW.

  2. To the Woodchipper Lisak!

  3. Four out of five dentists agree – Crest prevents rape in those campuses that use it.

    1. I’d like to know who is the lone dissenting dentist?

      1. STEVE SMITH, DDS. But what he practices isn’t considered dentistry by most other dentists.

      2. Walter Palmer

  4. Its weird….but this piece comes up in the “Recommended stories” sidebar before it actually appears on H&R.

    Is it me? I assume its me. I’m probably doing something wrong. Its always me (sobs)

    On the piece…

    …good one Robby.

    Sadly, its probably necessary for stories about the “data debunking” to be just as equally redundant as the pieces which tout and cite the B.S. “campus rape culture” stats

    meaning – unless its repeated over and over, and the fact that the ‘serial predator’ theory is complete hogwash becomes widely-known and discussed… people will continue to use the shoddiest and least-credible research simply because *they can*

    I think other basic data points also deserve endlessly reiterating – such as the fact that campuses are less exposed to sexual assault than the general public… because the public has had the opposite narrative drilled into them for years now. This is why we end up with such huge gaps in public policy awareness… like the fact that most people think Gun Crime has been on the rise for decades, despite the opposite being the case.

    There needs to be more “anti-narrative” work, basically.

    1. So, all of the pearl-clutching about rape and sexual assault on campuses can be boiled down to 2 things:

      1. Narratives created by poorly designed studies of absurdly small sample sizes, which is then presented as the gospel and then seized upon by political activists to punish their perceived enemies. and;

      2. Redefining questionable, but consensual, sexual encounters to one of non-consent after the fact and then declaring a “crisis.”

      1. More or less.

        See “The Campus Rape Myth” by Heather McDonald

        it shows how the basic M.O. of, “constantly redefining the problem” to ensure a perpetual-rape-crisis mode has never changed

        Dr. Koss, the person lauded here by Robby, is featured prominently =

        “During the 1980s, feminist researchers committed to the rape-culture theory had discovered that asking women directly if they had been raped yielded disappointing results?very few women said that they had been

        So Ms. commissioned University of Arizona public health professor Mary Koss to develop a different way of measuring the prevalence of rape. Rather than asking female students about rape per se, Koss asked them if they had experienced actions that she then classified as rape. Koss’s method produced the 25 percent rate, which Ms. then published.

        Koss’s study had serious flaws. Her survey instrument was highly ambiguous… But the most powerful refutation of Koss’s research came from her own subjects: 73 percent of the women whom she characterized as rape victims said that they hadn’t been raped. Further…42 percent of Koss’s supposed victims had intercourse again with their alleged assailants.

        All subsequent feminist rape studies have resulted in this discrepancy between the researchers’ conclusions and the subjects’ own views. “

        1. That was the first thought that popped in to my head reading the post: Is Koss going to re-examine the flawed data and methodology in her own study and recant the findings?

          She seems to be interested in pointing fingers as long as they face outward.

          1. from what i can tell, in the Feminist-Activist Academic camp, there seem to be “evolving opinions” about what are the Good Lies, what are the Less Useful Lies, and what are now the Disfavored Lies.

            (*feel free to replace “Lies” with “Statistics” where necessary)

            Because there’s little interest at all in any “final” version of the narrative; as long as its under perpetual revision, and remains something constantly reported on for its great social importance. It doesn’t matter if some of the old-narrative is shed in favor of an evolving new one. The Rape-Crisis Hoax may now become the ‘shameful dearth of survivor support’ (see the reaction to the Jackie story in the media)

            You already see this in the way Title IX is being discussed. Rather than accept that the near-parity of sports participation by males/females is a great achievement, the issue is now the great disparity in funding between mens and women’s sports. Women represent the majority of College Graduates… but are under-represented in STEM fields – Patriarchal Science Bias at work?? More funding will be needed to be sure. The nature of the oppression and the source of disparity will always be expanding and evolving. Its how this kind of identity-politics scam works.

            1. This fucking drives me batshit. I never treated my female students different from my males. Graded them the same, the same assignments, the same chatting during the last 5 minutes of class, whatever. And, considering that women are only “underrepresented” in engineering and physics (maybe a little in chemistry and definitely overrepresented in biology), the progs just aren’t willing to take the leap that maybe women, in general, just aren’t interested in playing with, nor designing greasy, oily, mechanical or electrical gee-gaws.
              After all, according to them gender is simply a construct of the patriarchy (never mind the measurable differences:

              plumbing (related: men can’t have babies)
              hormonal profiles
              average upper body muscular development
              ratio of gray to white matter

              1. Personality – individual psychology – is largely heritable, that includes IQ and the Big Five personality traits. Physiology is subject to evolutionary pressures/selection, so is psychology. Physiological dimorphism (sex differences) suggests (corresponding) psychological dimorphism. Woman are more thing-oriented, more agreeable, more neurotic, more tender-minded, and so forth. The question is not so much if, but how much of this is due to sex-specific genetic predisposition (nature as opposed to nurture). These sex differences become even more pronounced in more “gender egalitarian” societies.


                http://journals.plos.org/ploso…..ne.0029265 (Big Five: aspect level; rather interesting; check out the comments there)

                1. http://link.springer.com/artic…..008-9380-7 (gender egalitarian societies)

                  Generally interesting, and instead of commenting on more here: O’Neill/O’Neill, The Declining Importance of Race and Gender in the Labor Market: The Role of Employment Discrimination Policies, 2012. (Consider recent books on sex and elections, such as “He Runs, She Runs”, contradicting conventional wisdom. Stereotypes not harmful, but helpful, if anything.)

                  On stereotype accuracy: Jussim, Social Perception, Oxford UP, (~ 2012).

                2. Correction: Women more person-oriented, NOT more thing-oriented.

                  1. thanks for the correction. i was about to present my “thing” to a woman.

        2. Thanks for the addition, Gilmore.

        3. 73 percent of the women whom she characterized as rape victims said that they hadn’t been raped.

          That’s what’s wrong with women today: they just don’t know what rape really is.

          -feminist studies major

  5. if a government university punishes someone for rape, should that be the goverment’s bite at the apple for double jeopardy purposes?

    1. Based on what we’ve been seeing; if a Government University punishes someone for rape, they will so thoroughly taint the process and any actual evidence that prosecution by any other authority will be effectively impossible.

      1. FREE TOM BRADY.


          1. Tom Brady cries like a woman!

      2. Oh, pish, C.S.

        Since when do prosecutors need untainted evidence that proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

        Pile up a bunch of charges that add up to multiple life sentences, and give the guy the opportunity to just plead guilty to plain old rape as a preferable alternative.

        1. That is the core of my comment; the typical University “investigation” is so deeply and obviously flawed that even the usual “The only thing that counts is scalps, justice can go hang” Prosecutor doesn’t want to touch it with a barge-pole.

          1. “It has come to this office’s attention that your actions of date yadda yadda…you must report to Ms Drycunt for an investigation blah, blah…a hearing will be convened yakkey yakkety.”

            Ignore the letter. Do not respond in any fashion. If approached face to face, ask “Am I under arrest? Am I free to go?” and refuse any other contact or response. NOT A SINGLE WORD.

            Either they have enough evidence and they call the cops, or they don’t.

            If they don’t, just have your lawyer standing by if they attempt to dismiss you from the school without a refund.

            If they’re faced with refunding Accuseds payment over a questionable complaint, they won’t. If they’re faced with enough lawsuits, they’ll drop the whole thing.

            The only way to win is not to play.

            1. Any field studies, or legal briefs, of this approach?

    2. Good question. But allow the legislators to arbitrarily define/assign criminal and civil – or public law that is not criminal law – sanctions and that’s not a problem. (Double jeopady restricted to criminal law. Define desired law as “not criminal law”, by fiat.)

  6. the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has consistently told universities that federal law?Title IX of the Higher Education Act, specifically?requires them to adjudicate rape disputes.

    Yeah, I don’t think so. I think I see part of the problem here….

  7. Mary Koss comes out swinging against David Lisak’s serial predator theory.

    GINDER TRAYTER!!!!!!1111!!!!! /SJW derp

  8. The effect this revelation has on campus policymaker? Zero. It’s about feelings not facts.

    1. FoE, don’t you know that facts are for fascists? Particularly if the facts contradict feminist feelings?

  9. “They can be taught better behavior?and that, in some sense, should be the university’s mission.”

    I’m not sure that guaranteeing the sexual maturity & responsibility of students is the ‘mission’ of Secondary Education at all. Or certainly whether it ‘should be’. The entire idea of “Teaching Better Behavior” sounds very BF Skinner to me. And I know a little about how that concept doesn’t actually work in practice.

    if you’re not ready to go-away to college and act like an adult and be responsible for yourself, then you probably shouldn’t go at all. Students need to stop being ‘kids’ at some point. Pretending that universities should take on the same In Loco Parentis responsibilities that High Schools do is a very significant change in our definitions of what “maturity” entails.

    Where does it end? The workplace? Soon we’ll be insisting that employers “teach better behavior”….and god knows the people who aim to be the ‘Professionals’ in charge of deciding precisely what kind of behavior constitutes ‘Better’ are some of the worst people on the face of the earth. No one is more loathsome than those that constantly desire to *improve others for their own good*

    1. You shis-cislor…cis-shithead…shitlord…something. How can you say that people should grow up and be responsible for themselves when 5 out of 4 coeds are raped every day? Every. Day.

    2. historically that point’s been menstruation

    3. Pretending that universities should take on the same In Loco Parentis responsibilities that High Schools do is a very significant change in our definitions of what “maturity” entails.

      Again. This started when High Schools took on the same In Loco Parentis responsibilities that parents were originally charged with until the public school started deciding for them that their kids would learn algebra, get along with others, and not smoke or drink.

    4. “Soon we’ll be insisting that employers “teach better behavior”…”
      Yeah, there’ll be sensitivity- and diversity-seminars, and people will be reprimanded when they create unfriendly environments.

      “No one is more loathsome than those that constantly desire to *improve others for their own good”
      If that’s their genuine motive, then they are better than deceiving opportunists who pursue the same measures.

      1. “If that’s their genuine motive…”

        No. Crusaders are far worse than Charlatans.

        “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”

        “There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.”

        ? Eric Hoffer

        Someone who exploits people for their own gain is limited by their unwillingness to kill the goose that produces the golden eggs….

        ….however, Idealistic Reformers will destroy limitless numbers of people in the endless quest to ‘perfect’ mankind. And people to them will always be ‘broken’ in some way that needs more fixing. Because that is their business.

        1. Parasites (“deceiving opportunists”) and hosts. Parasites are only interested in maintaining a minimum quality of someone else’s existence. Genuine “helpers” are interested in improving others’ lives far beyond any minimum quality of existence. If both are equally competent at determining the respective qualities (minimum, and minimum +X) they aim for and the measures necessary for that, the genuine “helpers” will improve others’ lives more than parasites.
          Thus you’d have to show that helpers are much less competent than parasites, massively incompetent, even. Both parasite and helper make others’ business their own business, in that they are both pursuing their own preferences, which to some extent involves the well-being (“flourishing”) of others. Generally, this is, in principle, hedonism. As for vanity – narcissicm, presumably – I don’t see why the parasite would be less vain and (consequently?) more competent.

          1. (Not to distract: parasitism is frequency dependent, as is deception. Fewer parasites means hosts are more expendable, and parasites individually will be more harmful. The logic of utility applies to counter-measures.)

    1. You have just added a new dimension to why that image is highly problematic.

      1. where’s the fist?

      2. That pic cracks me up. She’s on the ground, a gun to her neck, and shes giving her attacker a look like “The fuck, dude? Are you serious?”

  10. “She considers herself “a scientist informed by feminism,” according to a profile of her in National Journal.”


    How bad does this Lisak dude have to be to have someone like that rip on him?

    1. Well, his work is in contradiction to the “All Men Are Rapists” school of thought (even with both being completely bogus)

    2. I wasn’t aware that science could be informed by feminism. In fact, it seems that any informing done is solely to somehow deform the science to fit a particular agenda.

      The only thing scientists should be informed by is data. And feminism isn’t data, but ideology.

      1. I mostly agree. But one still has to come up with hypotheses to test, and these can’t be drawn from empty space or mere data. Go with “men aoppress women” and you have plenty to test. Of course thats bias, but it could be seen as bias compensating for male bias in science. (Remarkably, so much reseach of sex is about women, and so much discussion of sex is in women’s magazines that claims to male predominance and stigmatization there are bewildering. One should note that male sexuality is seen as pathological, and not just when it’s male homosexuality [female homosexuality generally is not seen as much of a problem.])

        1. That being said, since it’s never clear what “feminism” is supposed to be, it’s not clear what being informed by it means. Claims to equality are useless, since that allows equality of opportunity, (totalitarian) egalitarianism, and so forth. Simply one has near absolute freedom in determining what things are “equal” (tertium comparationis) and what treatment is “equal”. Just call negative liberty the measure of equality and behold the different outcome. When you try to rectify and compensate, you again run into these problems: uncertainty, incommensurability, iustum pretium, comparable worth, iustitia distributiva, … Somewhere along the line you have to commit to a standpoint regarding whether men and women are inherently different (see the equal things problem). To reiterate, like “feminism” itself, science informed by it is bound to be chaotic. The label would be useless if it didn’t make you understand that it indicates the following: socialism; social constructionism; men oppress women. Consequent problems for science are obvious, but that doesn’t mean such research is useless. I guess, the free speech argument holds here as well. Of course information costs increase when you have to figure out biases.

  11. both sides could be right (at least partially). we’ve dumbed down the definition of rape soooo much since that hypothesis. someone who has drunk sex with another drunk person might not make a pattern of that behavior (although they might) while someone who gets off on violence could forcibly have sex with unwilling people again and again. you can’t divide fractions without a common denominator

    1. “”we’ve dumbed down the definition of rape soooo much since that hypothesis“”

      That’s true, but irrelevant to criticisms of Lisak’s work

      The ‘dumbed-down definitions’ of sexual assault that are used in most of the “1-in-5 studies” rely on survey respondents describing their own behaviors…

      …and then the researchers subsequently re-defining those behaviors as they see fit to meet their own arbitrary criteria of assault.

      IOW, the survey respondents do not themselves say they had either committed or been victim of sexual assaults – the researchers determine that FOR THEM.

      In Lisak’s work, from what i understand, the opposite was true = the survey respondents *themselves described their past behavior and defined it as ‘assault or rape’*. Which is i believe partly why the work was treated so seriously – because it was direct-testimony from people who had committed what they acknowledged to be misbehavior.

      There’s a world of difference there.

  12. Any masochists want to wade into these comments?


    MoJo writer wrt Oath Keepers in Ferguson.

    …five heavily-armed men belonging to a vigilante group called the Oath Keepers were spotted patrolling the streets. According to reports, the Oath Keepers said they were on the scene to provide voluntary protection to a journalist working for the site InfoWars, the conspiracy mill run by noted lunatic Alex Jones.

    The mysterious group, who called themselves voluntary “patriots,” primarily consists of heavily-armed white men dressed in military uniform. Many of them are former soldiers and police officials. For more on who they are, read our in-depth investigation, “Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason.”

  13. To deter college rape, prevention should be initiated before, and continue during, college. Child and adolescent health care professionals are well positioned to intervene during the early teenage years by informing parents about the early onset of nonconsensual sexual behavior.

    I’m gonna have to stop you right there. You people appear to be completely ignorant of the entire reality of public schools. Whereas colleges and universities, largely through self-selection and an overabundance of funding, produce a useful citizen or two; adolescent education is rife with overpaid moron administrators who, lacking the ability to actually teach, resort to punishing kids for smoking and consensually sexting.

    1. “adolescent education is rife with overpaid moron administrators who, lacking the ability to actually teach, resort to punishing kids for smoking and consensually sexting.”

      This is exactly my point about trying to dump “In Loco Parentis”-responsibilities onto public institutions like schools.

      When you give institutions the power and authority to decide what “better behavior” is supposed to be…. they behavior they focus on is that which most benefits the institution, not the individual. They have zero incentive to make someone a ‘better person’ overall.

      This is the essential failure of the BF Skinner ‘social conditioning’ models when applied to institutions.

      For example – Skinner points out that positive reinforcement is immensely more effective in transforming behavior. Rewards…carrots, not sticks.

      Yet institutions, for all their bullshit ‘positive reinforcement’ conferences, etc. still basically always resort to threat of punishment, and increasing levels of authority over behavior. Like “speech codes” … trigger warnings…. constantly saying there are New Rules, and Breaking Rules has Consequences.

      And that results in negative feedback loops which produces the opposite effect = rebellion, loss of trust in authority, erosion of respect for codes, etc. The more they try and “mold” behavior by Rule, the less effective rules become.

      1. This is exactly my point about trying to dump “In Loco Parentis”-responsibilities onto public institutions like schools.

        Yup. We’re in agreement, just at opposite fronts.

        I say Miller Lite is less filling!

      2. Do you hold that behaviorism is generally wrong, or that these institutions apply it wrongly (perhaps by adding negative conditioning)?

        1. Little bit of both.

          behaviorism is correct in lots of its observation of developmental mechanics

          behaviorism, as applied by self-interested institutions (as opposed to parents) is always doomed to serve the institutions rather than the individual

          Skinner was a kook who thought that he could take parents out of parenting and make perfect-people, “scientifically”. On paper, his ideas are very compelling.

          He was appallingly naive about how the actual world, run by imperfect people, actually works. He suffers from the same control-freak social delusions all progressives do.

          1. Nepotism/kin selection. However, group selection complicates things further. (Both fall under “inclusive fitness”, arguably.) The question is whether institutions will be captured by conventionally selfish or kind of eu-social people. I haven’t seen that particular game theory being played out.

  14. Some perpetrators should be dealt with via the criminal justice system, Koss said. But others might be best served by something Koss calls “restorative justice.” Such a process can take many forms, but involves mediation between the students involved in a rape dispute.

    There is nothing I’ve seen in universities’ responses to sexual assault that indicates they are capable of doing something like this, or should want to do anything like this. The liability to the university for such a program would be insanely high.

    1. Yep. Unless they’re afforded the same immunities as cops or prosecutors, there’s not a chance they’d be willing to shoulder remotely the same discretion. And they shouldn’t be.

  15. “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists”

    BZZZT! “Undetected”?!

    1. Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists


  16. Is the serial rapist hypothesis really the dominant one? I haven’t followed this closely, but I guess the “all men are [potential] rapists” hypothesis is still in effect. If one assumes that the 1 in 5 number is true, then the absence of serial rapists would tend to support the “all men are [potential] rapists” hypothesis. Years ago, Thornhill and Palmer wrote about rape on an evolutionary basis, countering the “rape is about power, not sex” theory (Brownmiller, Against Our Will — I think). I’m under the impression that this outlandish theory is still in play. (Rape and sex are also about power, more sensibly). To cut this short, I’d be interested in an up-to-date integrated framework, including things such as women’s relatively wide-spread rape phantasies; hybristophilia; bad-boy affinity; long-term v. short term mating strategies; and so forth. This may be too much to ask here.

    1. Thornhill and Palmer probably gave the most scientific approach given yet, which naturally offended feminists. Feminists are basically eggregious human exceptionalists in weird way. pretty much all other social animal species have rape. Indeed, more often than not, rape is standard sex. The male pursues, the female resists, the male physically subdues the female, and coitus happens. Zebras, kangaroos, various species of primates, etc. It’s a ubiquitous theme. The extent of resistance the male will put up may vary, but over all, it has a clear evolutionary purpose: it endures that only the strong males, or the fast males (capable of catching the female, in the case of kangaroos) are able to mate.

      The fact that some humans rape, just like the fact that some kill or steal, requires no social or cultural explanation; it is perfectly natural and rational and self-interested. Quite the opposite; the fact that most humans don’t do those things is what is remarkable about the species, and what we owe to socialization and civilization. Unsurprisingly, the feminist/leftist types have it ass backwards: brutish behavior isn’t the result of social conditions; it’s natural, because life in nature is brutish; it is the social conditions that enable the species to overcome its brutish nature.

      1. Yeah, they seem to be exceptionalists. The theory of evolution applies when it serves to counter the religious right, and when homosexuality is to be explained (natural, not learned, can not be unlearned). It doesn’t apply when it’s contrary to whatever goal they have in mind. (Convenient to have several feminisms — topoi. Pick whatever element/”school” momentarily serves you, disavow allegience with the others. I strongly suspect that coherence is not necessary. Worth studying.)

        Hobbes does have a point. If you haven’t yet, check out Mandeville’s The Fable of the Bees; I suggest the hardcover Liberty Fund edition.

  17. You’re all bad at math. Regardless of Lisak’s failings, it is possible for both sides to be true, that most rapes are committed by serial predators, and that most rapists are not serial predators.

    1. “You’re all bad at math”

      You’re a towel

      1. YOU’RE a towel!

        *offers bong to GILMORE*

  18. Why not allow the women (and men, for that matter) to arm themselves? Wouldn’t that take care of the rape problem?

    Oh right, guns are bad so it doesn’t matter if they would significantly decrease rape. They are animists.

    1. Actually, I’m not fond of the idea of encouraging women to shoot every man who hits on her. If people think there’s a bias in terms of race when it comes to shootings (i.e., white shoots black guy gets less moral outrage than vice versa), that doesn’t come close to comparing to the outrage disparity when it comes to gender. The fact that some people actually tried to defend Jodi Arias exemplifies that.

      1. It would make dating more exciting.

  19. You’re giving Koss too much credit for anti-contrarianism, which implies she’s advocating against her ideology. If the serial rapist hypothesis is true fewer men are guilty. So she’s arguing to expand the number of guilty just as you’d expect her ideology to influence her.

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  21. Other than females raping me, attending college benefited me very little if at all.

  22. The good news is I won’t be a negligent father by sending my daughter to college to face a 1:4 risk of rape.

    1. While I’m scared to death of my boys when it comes time. The chance that they have sex with a girl who’s had a beer or two and then being accused of rape is too high to ignore.

      Universities are being re-wired to assume that all white men are inherently privileged rapists whose opinions are invalid.

      This scares the shit out of me.

      1. What if they identify as black? Get thou to the tanning booth, young man!

      2. Teach your boys to obtain consent before they proceed to greater levels of intimacy and you and your boys should have no problem at all.

        Why is that so hard?

    2. Teach your daughters not to have sex while drunk and you shave off the vast majority of that number. Drunk sex and reclassifying consensual sex as regret account for the vast majority of the 1 in 5 figure. Actual rape, as in rape that was never consensual, that never involved active and positive participation on the girls part (drunk or otherwise) and instead involved ether forcing oneself on the victim or taking advantage of someone who was unconscious, is a small segment of the statistic bandied about. Hell, given “attempted rape” (which would include a guy trying to have sex with a girl while intoxicated, but accepting a no as no) is included in that 1 in 5 statistic, it’s hard to believe anyone takes that statistic seriously at all.

      1. “People” take it seriously not because it’s a serious statistic but because it’s one of those science “facts” supported by feminist ideology.

  23. This all coming from the woman who decided to reclassify male victims who were forced to penetrate their assailant as “forced to penetrate” rather than classify them under rape, so as not to undermine real victims of rape… and then proceeded to drone on in the summary about how much women were raped and men weren’t (ignoring that the “forced to penetrate” category had equal numbers in the 12 month figures as rape and attempted rape, because she was focusing on rape specifically, which she had classified male victims out of).

  24. Mary Koss trying to undo some of the social carnage she is responsible for?

    1. Haha, good one.

      Koss is upset because Lisak’s ideas suggest that only a small minority of men are rapists, and Koss pushes, as ardently as ever, the idea that a large fraction, possibly a majority, of men are likely rapists. Koss is perfectly in character here.

      In reality, both Koss and Lisak are probably wrong, though I think Lisak is less wrong. Lisak is right that only a small minority of men ever have or ever will rape. But among those who do, he likely overestimates the number of times they repeat offend. Both Koss and Lisak, like most advocacy researchers, severely over-estimate the actual proportion of women who have been raped, usually by an order of magnitude (they say 1 in 5 or 4; Justice Dept data, even assuming a

      1. The Justice Department study that you seek to rely on for invalidating the current best estimates of the incidence of rape states on its face that it was not intended for that purpose.

        Rape deniers ought to be more honest and informed. Maybe you want to actually read the Justice survey you improperly cite.

  25. FedGOv have NO authority to modify the judicial system for “special situations” or classes of crimes. Thus the whole requriment of Tirle 9 or whatever the number is has no basis in law. EVERY college/university being coerced by this but iof illegal law need to stand against it and just SAY NO.
    I am glad to see a voice of reason and a plea for rational behaviour.

    1. A good part of the problem stems from the “sex education” these college students get in their high and junior high schooling… that sex is a recreational activity devoid of sancstion or moral content, and to be sought a\fter ane enjoyhed. How many high school boys get stirred up by such teachings, then, once out from under the prying eyes of parents, hall monitors, playground aides, chaparones, etc, think thjey can have their way with the girls at college? Begin to deal with this travesty by proper teaching beginning in grade school, and the press to experiment, play, experience, enjoy, etc, will be greatlh reduced. These kids are ignorant and unkilled at adult relationships because they’ve not been properlh taught growing up. and most times when parents question or oppose that they get in the gummint schools they get told its not their concern. Oh yes it is…. but most have abdicated. But, try and teach God’s moral standards, you’ve got World War Three and likelyh a legal action on your hands. So even parents who try get shot down and give up. Then the “adults” running the asylum wonder why “there is a problem” and how to “fix” it.. forgetting it is THEY who have created it in the first place.

      1. You are just as bad as the feminists. You are saying that all men given the option of having sex with willing females solely for physical pleasure are just primed and ready to rape.

        Please understand, though I don’t share your theology or religious views, I respect that you have them. And you have every right to teach your family those views. Indeed, it wouldn’t be much of a religion if you didn’t expect your children to try to live up to those values. However, premarital sex between consenting adults is in no way the same as forcing oneself upon another (whether through physical force, or taking advantage of an unconscious person).

        1. Hell Yeah!
          No means yes. Yes means anal. Something..something.. fisting.

  26. “many victims’ advocates?the Emma Sulkowicz types”

    You mean “accusers’ advocates”.

    When the accusation is true, the accuser is the victim.
    When the accusation is false, the accused is the victim.

    1. That’s the funny thing about “victim blaiming”. Girl says there was sexual offense. Guy says there wasn’t. Determining whether girl is victim is “victim blaiming”.

      1. Determining whether a crime has been committed should be the province of the courts, but since 95% of rapes are never prosecuted, and 99.5% of acquaintance rapes are never prosecuted, we don’t get much of an accurate picture.

        The Los Angeles assistant District Attorney in charge of sex crimes admitted on tape that he doesn’t prosecute acquaintance rape.

        Aren’t libertarians in favor of a limited government operating to prevent crime?

        Is rape some special exception to that principle?

  27. Koss and Lisak are just two different species of monsters fighting over the same territory. We should not delude ourselves into thinking Koss is being either reasonable or ethical.

    Koss only opposes Lisak’s data because it contradicts her view that a large proportion of men (possibly most) are rapists. If Lisak is right, then only a small minority of men are rapists, and this goes against the radfem theory that many/most men rape.

    Also, Lisak implicitly distinguishes between actual rape and consensual sex; Koss does not. Most instances she calls rape are in fact two people willingly having sex while inebriated, but Koss, like most feminists, thinks female consent is invalidated by alcohol of any quantity, while male consent somehow magically remains intact.

    Koss is not an ally of freedom, reason, ethics, men, or women for that matter here. Lisak is just in the way of her goal of being able to convince most men that they have in the past raped at least one woman, to put that moral trauma on them. As anyone raised in a religious fundamentalist household knows, convincing a child that he is so deeply in sin that he owes an infinite moral debt to some creed or group of people is the surest way to control them. Just think, if Koss and her ilk can get enough men that they are rapists and need to atone, they won’t just get Hillary elected by a landslide, they’ll guarantee the victory of ideological sympathizers in elections for a generation.

  28. All men are dogs.
    There, I said it.
    That said, not all dogs are bad dogs, in fact, the vast majority of dogs are well behaved, good dogs.
    But they are still dogs, they will do anything (within reason) for a treat.
    Lets not forget, women can be dogs too. They have the same urges and needs as men.
    And like male dogs, sometime behave miss-appropriately, and (occasionally) regret it.
    Political Correctness is poisoning this country. This country is way too uptight in all matters sexual. Sexual freedom is one of the few attributes of European society, I believe, we should more emulate.
    While people still need to be responsible for their behavior, let’s not view human nature as criminal behavior.
    We’ve all done things we’ve later regretted. That’s all part of the growing up process.
    Regret sex is not rape, it is bad discussion making on your part.
    Drank too much? Your fault. Took drugs? Your fault. Asked Mr. Wrong home for sex because you were wearing beer goggles, your fault.
    Grow up, take responsibility for your actions, move on. Your friends will respect you a lot more for taking personal responsibility, then prosecuting some equally horny undergrad.

    1. You have no idea how much harm rape does to the rapist’s victim. What you are saying is appalling, so ignorant as to be vicious.

      Rape victims are gutted, their pre-rape trajectories into careers and productivity decimated. Society is losing tremendous assets, bleeding huge costs because we will not stop rapists.

      Your smirking assessment that “rape” is equal to “regret sex” — Jesus, buddy, get a clue. Buy an informed opinion.

  29. writing well

  30. Koss is studying sexual rape from a feminist standpoint conceived by the Dworkins and Brownmillers of the second wave, a hypothesis that sexual violence against women is intrinsic to masculine identity. At best, it’s just what men do. At worst, it’s a concerted campaign on the part of all men to keep women terrorized and subjugated.

    Meanwhile, she conceals male victims of rape by women in plain sight in the data tables of the CDC’s NISVS, euphemistically calling this act “other sexual violence: made to penetrate.” There is some evidence on female sexual coercion that raises the uncomfortable question of whether her thoughts on male sexual coercion against women amount to projecting female behavior onto men. That is, given the higher numbers of women self-reporting sexually predatory behavior against men, there’s an argument to be made that rape is “just what women do”.

    As shoddy as Lisak’s research is, his conclusions dovetail with other research on rapists, conducted on convicts, which found a startling number of rapes in their histories for which they were never caught.

    For someone like Koss, the idea that rape is a pathological behavior occurring in a small percentage of men is anathema to her views on men and women in general. To remove rape from the spectrum of normal masculine behavior within “patriarchal” cultures pulls the legs out from under her feminist worldview.

    In other words, I wouldn’t trust her any farther than I could throw her.

  31. Mary Koss attacks the studies conducted by Dr. David Lisak because he found a large percentage of college rapists are repeat offenders, but Koss’s recent study in fact confirms Lisak’s finding. It is Koss who is dishonest.

    Of her 795 surveyed subjects,18 men committed a minimum of 49 rapes as well as 3 rapes in high school, and 39 men committed another minimum of 30 rapes in college as well as 38 rapes in high school. Thus, Koss confirms that at least 55% of her survey group were repeat rapists, with the possibility that there were more that her study wasn’t designed to identify.

    Koss’s study doesn’t identify repeat offenders because she only asked her subjects if they had raped at all during the past year. Twelve victims or one — the response would be the same: “Yes, I raped someone in the past 12 months.”

    Koss is also dishonest in her assessment that any of these men stopped offending because she simply doesn’t have the longitudinal data that would enable her to make that assessment. Nearly half of her study’s participants dropped out over the 4-year period. She also makes the bizarre and unfounded assumption that any cessation in raping is permanent rather than temporary — caused, perhaps, by the acquisition of a girlfriend or a sports injury or impotence due to excessive porn viewing.

    Koss’s latest research is bad science. Her attack on Dr. Lisak is dishonest, unfounded and unsupported.

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