Rape

One in 375 Women May Be Victims of Campus Rape at Harvard

Nearly one in five Harvard rape reports determined to be unfounded.

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riacale/Flickr

The number of rapes reported by students at Harvard University's Cambridge campus "nearly doubled" between 2013 & 2014, according to an article in school paper The Harvard Crimson. This alarming info comes via the new campus-security report from Harvard police, compiled as part of federal Clery Act requirements. But like so much related to campus rape numbers, this seemingly drastic increase isn't nearly as alarming as some will make it out to be. 

First, it's important to consider concrete sexual assault numbers, which were still quite low. In 2014, 33 instances of rape were reported to either campus police, university officials, or local law enforcement by students at Harvard's main campus in Cambridge, and one rape was reported at Harvard's Longwood campus. For purposes of the report, rape is defined as "the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." The number of rapes reported at Harvard last year is up from 17 incidents in 2013, and 24 in 2012. 

But as Ashe Schow points out in the Washington Examiner, six of the 2014 rape reports—nearly 20 percent—were determined to be "unfounded," i.e. "false or baseless." This leaves us with just 28 credible rape reports at Harvard last year. Using that number, there were some four to 11 more instances of rape at Harvard last year compared to the two previous years (for which data on the number of unfounded incidents is not available). When you put it like this, the situation doesn't sound quite as alarming as the campus rape rate "doubling" last year.

And it's possible that the increase doesn't even reflect a real rise in sexual violence. Considering the extensive attention paid to campus rape over the past few years (by school administrators, student activists, the media, and the Obama administration) and the fact that the Harvard police survey measures only reported rapes, the increase could actually reflect a positive development: more victims coming forward about their assaults. 

In any event, with a population of about 21,000 students, Harvard University's rape rate for 2014 was about 0.13 percent, or one in every 750 Harvard students. 

The campus-crime report does not include a gender breakdown for rape victims, but let's just assume for the sake of further extrapolation that all 28 were women. Roughly half the Harvard University student body is women. If we count both graduate and undergraduate students, that's a rape rate of about 0.27 percent for female Harvard students, or one in every 375 Harvard women. 

There are about 6,400 undergraduate students at Harvard, and about half are women as well. If we assume all the reported rape victims were undergraduate women—a not baseless assumption, considering only one incident of rape reported between 2012-2014 did not take place in a residence hall (though of course these aren't exclusively undergrad housing)—that leaves us with a rape rate of about 0.88 percent.

In other words, this worst-case-scenario assumption means that about one in 114 female undergraduates reported rapes at Harvard last year. I hate making caveats like "even this is too many," because compared to an optimal level of rape (zero), of course it is. But while this study shouldn't diminish the seriousness of any individual rape, one in 114 is a far cry from the numbers we usually hear from campus rape activists. 

This can be partially explained by the fact that many victims don't report sexual assaults to police or campus authorities; while the Harvard police study measured only rapes reported in some form, surveys on campus rape generally focus on incidents whether they were reported to anyone or not. However, these studies also tend to broaden the definition of sexual assault to include everything from an unwanted kiss to unwanted comments about physical appearance. This makes for higher sexual violence numbers—a study released in September, for instance, found that nearly one-third of female undergraduates at Harvard had been victims of broadly defined "unwanted sexual contact"—but also makes their conclusions every bit as suspect and incomplete than estimates that rely solely on rapes reported to police. 

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  1. “Campus Rape”
    Does this include anyone who happens to be a full time student, regardless of where the assault takes place?

    I’m very wary of ambiguous terms.

    1. “only one incident of rape reported between 2012-2014 took place outside of a residence hall”

        1. The “campus rapes” are defined as those that take place in “Any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational puposes, including residence halls.”

      1. The conveyor belt in the dining hall can really mess up your back.

        1. Conveyor belt? We still used forks and knives when I was in college…

          1. How did you ever gain your Freshman 50 like that?

            1. The Freshman added avoir du pois applies only to women.

              1. HA! That’s adorable.

    2. On investigation , many of the rapists turned out to be transpillagites or dyslexics who thought they were looting and burning.

  2. If we can prevent just one, it will all be worth it!

  3. In other words, this worst-case-scenario assumption means that about one in 114 female undergraduates reported rapes at Harvard last year.

    Some number of those are likely false. Better case-scenario?

  4. Elizabeth, I’m pretty sure that the latest talking points say that about 5 in 1 women are raped. Every day.

    1. It takes a lot of raping to get five in one.

      1. That’s the culture we all live in, unfortunately. You can’t walk to class without getting raped *at least* twice

      2. It takes a lot of raping to get five in one.

        Grab its motherfucking leg

        1. +4 hours over broken glass

        1. I thought he only raped inanimate objects and farm animals.

          Although I guess Harvard women could fall into the latter category.

          1. If they go hiking.

          2. STEVE SMITH NOT DISCRIMINATE. IF IT HAS HOLE, STEVE SMITH RAPE HOLE.

    2. Your punctuation is wrong. You need to end every sentence with a period for dramatic effect. That shows how serious you are about rape:

      5. and. 1. women. are. raped. Every. Day.

    3. Wait, I’ve seen this porno, I’m sure of it.

      1. “Airtight Ivy League XVI”

        1. That’s it!

          1. Really? I thought it was XVII. It’s so hard to keep track of these things.

            1. XVII was really where the franchise got back on track. The first six or seven were great, but it lost its way from VIII to XVI.

  5. Sounds like a hellhole.
    Shut it down and re-develop it as a theme park and social club for the younger members of the upper classes.

  6. Is this the kind of rape where rape=sexual assault=someone icky talked to me?

    1. So you didn’t make it to the end of the second paragraph.

      1. Don’t tell us what to do, Nicole. I will drown you in Malort if you ever try that again.

      2. I’m just following the crowd at this point. I thought actually reading the articles was considered dorkish.

      3. Quit reading the articles nicole, you’re only making everyone else look dumb.

        1. Everyone needs a brand, Hugh.

          1. Okay so then why don’t you get your own and stop bogarting mine?

          2. This is why nobody played with you during recess, isn’t it?

            1. Possibly.

      4. I read all day at work. I come to H&R to get away from that.

      5. And yet, the second paragraph already confuses sexual assault with rape.

  7. When did 24 become “nearly double” 17? Or do progtards use a different number system than the rest of us?

    1. They counted the reports that were found to be false or baseless.

    2. 33 is nearly double 17 from 2013 to 2015.

      24 is from 2012.

  8. Deflating their rape numbers is a surefire way to get attention from the SJWs.

    1. +1 Tom Brady

  9. 7/33? That’s a lot of baseless, unfounded reports.

    1 in 5 Rape Reports are Baseless, Unfounded Reports Harvard University

  10. We just need common sense penis legislation

    1. Impossible.

      Every time they try to draft common sense penis legislation all the men start snickering anytime the responsible female legislators start talking about trying to close a “loophole”.

      That and the fact that no one really wants to outlaw Prince Albert bayonet mounts.

      1. It takes me like an hour to reload.

      2. outlaw Prince Albert bayonet mounts.

        Between that and a pistol grip, assault penises are scary!

    2. Ban that thing that goes up!

  11. “In 2014, 33 instances of rape were reported to either campus police, university officials, or local law enforcement by students at Harvard’s main campus in Cambridge, and one rape was reported at Harvard’s Longwood campus.”

    Oh man. Rape at Longwood Campus? The STEVE SMITH jokes practically write themselves.

  12. But as Ashe Schow points out in the Washington Examiner, six of the 2014 rape reports?nearly 20 percent?were determined to be “unfounded,” i.e. “false or baseless.”

    “Expel them all!”

    /Jared Polis

  13. these studies also tend to broaden the definition of sexual assault to include everything from an unwanted kiss to unwanted comments about physical appearance

    My psychiatrist told me, ‘You’re crazy.’ I said, ‘If you don’t mind, I’d like a second opinion.’ He said, ‘OK, you’re ugly, too!’

    Props to the late great Rodney Dangerfield.

    1. Well if only 1 out of 375 Harvard babes is getting raped, that does speak to the general (un)attractiveness of the student body, does it not?

      We may have been a bunch of hillbilly dunces at Memphis State, but at least we had hot coeds running around everywhere.

    2. + 1 rim shot.

  14. This is just proof that ENB is an SJW slut who probably has like 50 Gawker links lined up for PM links because she’s a leftist spy getting paid by George Soros. /Corning

    1. [golf clap]

  15. Ims confoosed. I thought it was 1 in 5? Now it’s 1 in 375?

    1. It’s 1 in 5. Ignore the TEATHUGLIKKKAN war on womynz lies

      1. For best consistency support one narrative with another;

        1 in 375 at Harvard, which is not attended by your typical middle class American.

        1. Would that it were so but as part of the Faustian bargain, we have of late been overrun by them.

  16. The Clery Act is designed to produce growing report #s, even if the actual # of underlying “crimes” were dead flat year-over-year.

    It constantly expands the definition of what ‘crimes’ are, and further demands that “reporting” be done multiple times for any individual instances, depending on who made claims of an alleged assault, and retain said reports even when the assault is later determined to be baseless.

    (as per ENB’s note = they keep the stats as part of their totals *even though they’re determined to be false*. And do so by design)

    I’ve posted about a half-dozen examples of clery act reporting guidelines (both old and new) in the past. The emphasis of the law is on generating MORE reports above all else. If 3 people tell campus security about an alleged event, its 3 reports. The concern of the law, as it is recommended to be applied by DoE, is to CREATE DATA

    It was vastly expanded under the “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013”, making any data before then incomparable. Or to create the impression of a exploding # of campus crimes.

    This article from 2009 provides insight into the minds of people who agitated for the Sexual Assault definitions to be expanded, and insist that EVERYTHING be recorded, papering over the ‘non-forcible’ exclusions and false-accusations, and ensuring that the data always reach the maximal possible coverage.

  17. No wonder the freshman down at Yale get no tail.

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  19. The number of rapes reported by students at Harvard University’s Cambridge campus “nearly doubled”

    Hidden in this number is that one contributor to this increase is that the FBI changed its definition of rape for reporting purposes. The previous definition only covered forcible penetration of the vagina. The new definition not only expands the definition to include mouth and anus (thereby including for the first time male rape victims), but lowers the threshold from forcible to lack of consent. I believe the new definition is probably better, but with the less restrictive criteria it’s no surprise the numbers went up.

  20. Good pickup. Percentages can be used to mislead.

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