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How an Influential Campus Rape Study Skewed the Debate

Widely cited study relies on surveys that don’t actually have anything to do with on-campus sexual assaults.

The public debate over the extent and causes of the campus sexual assault crisis is fraught with misleading information. The previously acclaimed work of psychologist David Lisak deserves that distinction as well.

The federal government, universities, and members of Congress have all used Lisak’s theories to justify rape adjudication policies that are biased against accused students. They should reconsider those policies in light of new discoveries about the inapplicability of Lisak’s work.

Lisak has cultivated a reputation as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on sexual assault, and his thinking undergirds the most vexingly anti-due process policies currently mandated by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. His authority on the subject is so uncontested that even critics of draconian anti-rape policies feel obligated to grapple with his assertions, according to Slate’s Emily Yoffe, who described Lisak’s work as foundational "in the movement to curb campus sexual assault."

President Obama’s January 2014 memo announcing the creation of a White House task force to address campus sexual assault repeatedly cites Lisak. His research provides evidence of the notion that "campus rapists are often serial predators" who perpetrate a "cycle of violence" unless stopped, according to the memo.

The 2002 Lisak study that supposedly makes that case—"Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists"—is fundamental to the activist campaign to reduce campus rape. But despite the study’s prominence, its assertions about the serial nature of campus rapists are dubiously sourced, according to a thorough investigation conducted by Reason contributor Linda LeFauve.

The study pooled data from four separate surveys of interpersonal violence that were conducted at the University of Massachusetts-Boston during the ‘90s, at which time Lisak was employed as an associate professor. Lisak’s study had a total sample size of 1,882 men, 120 of whom gave responses in the surveys indicating that they were predators. Of the 120 rapists, 76 were judged to be repeat offenders, leading to the oft-cited claim that the majority of campus sexual assault is the work of serial predators who remain "undetected," i.e., are never convicted for their crimes.

The claim suffers when scrutinized. For reasons left unclear, the four surveys that contributed data are never actually identified in the study. In fact, Lisak struggled to recall which ones he used when asked about them during the course of a telephone interview with LeFauve. When LeFauve suggested to him that the data in question came from his doctoral students’ dissertations and masters’ theses, he agreed that this was "probably" the case.

I spoke with James Hopper, one of Lisak’s former students at UMass-Boston, who confirmed that the survey data he conducted for his own dissertation was included in the 2002 study. He also identified several other students as near-certain contributors via their masters’ theses and dissertations.

What’s remarkable about these surveys is that they don’t actually have anything to do with campus sexual assault (aside from the location where they were conducted).

Researchers set up tables at different areas of campus and handed out questionnaire packets to men who passed by them; participants who returned the questionnaires received a few dollars. The surveys made no attempt to prevent non-students from participating. The researchers had no reason to do so, since their questions weren’t aimed at on-campus attacks and did not specifically ask about violence committed by or against students. And the average respondent was 26.5 years old—several years older than the typical college student—reflecting the fact that UMass-Boston is a commuter school with a significant number of older, non-traditional students.

This is quite the revelation: The canonical text of the campus sexual assault crisis is filled with data repurposed from academic papers that never intended to survey campus violence in the first place.

Lisak admitted as much during his conversation with LeFauve, agreeing with her contention that the surveys weren’t designed primarily to study campus sexual assault and admitting that "a number of these cases were domestic violence situations." During a presentation at Emory University in 2013, he also said that UMass-Boston was "demographically different than a traditional four-year college."

In an interview with Reason, Hopper described the survey respondents as "working-class, first-generation college students" who didn’t live on campus.

"This is not a typical college sample," he said.

The issues don’t end there. In an August 20, 2012 interview with the Star-Telegram, Lisak asserted that he subsequently interviewed the sexual predators in the study. "We started with questionnaires, then interviewed men who responded to the questionnaires, we did screening interviews and to verify and confirm that everything they had reported was accurate," he said.

Several other interviews and news articles about Lisak imply that he extensively interrogated the subjects of his 2002 study. He also told LeFauve during his conversation with her that he had interviewed "most of them." And yet when LeFauve asked him to explain how this was possible—given that most of the surveys he relied on were anonymous—he hung up the phone.

It’s true that Lisak interviewed 15 students who had committed sexual assault during his graduate studies at Duke University in the ‘80s. But the idea that he conducted similarly comprehensive interviews with a majority of the subjects of the 2002 study—and thus gained some special insight into the minds’ of serial campus rapists that would allow him to make claims beyond the scope of the study—has no basis in fact.

Lisak did not answer my repeated phone calls and emails asking for clarification. Paul Miller, a former student of Lisak’s who coordinated at least one of the four surveys and is co-author of the study, also did not return calls. The UMass-Boston psychology department did not respond to a request for comment.

Extensive digging, as well as interviews with Hopper (who relayed some of my questions to Lisak) revealed that it was possible for Lisak’s team of researchers to conduct interviews with some, though by no means a majority, of questionnaire respondents. One of the four surveys asked subjects to provide their contact information for subsequent interviews, and a minority of those subjects did so. According to Hopper, Lisak said his team may have subsequently interviewed approximately 22 of the 120 participants who gave responses indicating that they were rapists. These interviews were validation exercises designed to ensure that respondents had given truthful answers during the initial survey. Lisak did not recall precisely how many were conducted—whether it was greater or fewer than 22—and was unwilling to look it up for me, according to Hopper.

Lisak did not respond to me directly and only answered questions about his methodology through Hopper. The fact that he avoided answering such simple questions—questions that should have been answered in the text of the study itself—suggests an obscuring (either deliberate or coincidental) of the study’s actual purpose.

Unlike Lisak, Hopper agreed to participate in a wide-ranging conversation about methodology. He vigorously defended Lisak, their fellow researchers, and the work that was done.

"This went through institutional review and this was people of integrity conducting this research," he said.

Hopper also believes Lisak’s conclusions about the serial nature of campus rapists are well justified.

"They are entitled!" he insisted during our conversation after I suggested that students might be less likely to commit violence than the general populace. "They think they can get away with it. If anything, they might be at higher risk for committing sexual assault."

Nevertheless, in the years since "Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending" was published, the subject and scope of Lisak’s research has been vastly misinterpreted. I’ll leave it to others to debate the extent to which Lisak himself is culpable for encouraging this confusion, but at the very least, he allowed it to continue. He has repeatedly claimed in interviews that the overwhelming majority of campus sexual assaults—more than 90 percent—were premeditated by serial perpetrators.

"The vast majority of sexual assaults on campuses, in fact over 90 percent, are being perpetrated by serial offenders," Lisak told Al Jazeera. That article cites the 2002 study—a study that had nothing to do with campus sexual violence, remember—as evidence of this.

This curious interpretation of Lisak’s work has spawned a glut of federally-mandated anti-rape policies. To understand why, it’s necessary to first understand what the theory of serial predation implies. Prior to the widespread adoption of Lisak’s views, campus rape was often considered to fall into the supposedly less serious category of "date rape." Students who committed rape were assumed to be one-off offenders motivated by alcohol and circumstance into crossing blurry lines. But the 2002 study turned this thinking on its head by revisiting campus rapists as sociopaths inclined to commit violence over and over again. Abuse was in their nature, and reforming them was difficult. They were not motivated by circumstance: In fact, they planned out their crimes in advance, much like the sociopathic rapists who allegedly attacked Jackie in the infamous, false Rolling Stone story, "A Rape on Campus."

Since most campus rapists* are serial perpetrators rather than date rapists, according to Lisak, universities should feel obligated to take stronger corrective measures. Lisak himself has said that every rape accusation "should be viewed and treated as an opportunity to identify a serial rapist." This logic makes some sense, but only if one accepts this interpretation of the research. Such thinking makes it much easier for administrators to justify the abridgment of due process rights for accused students, and to operate from the presumption that accused students are guilty—of a great number of rapes, no less.

But Lisak’s 2002 study falls well short of proving that this approach is justified. His surveyed perpetrators weren’t traditional college students. It’s possible that some of them weren’t students at all, since the surveys had no mechanism for ensuring this. What the study did find was a small proportion of the UMass-Boston community—perhaps but not necessarily students—had a history of violence. This violence may or may not have happened in proximity to campus. It may or may not have happened to students. It may or may not have happened to children, spouses, or the elderly.

Given that the 2002 study is much less than what it seems, it should come as little surprise that more recent research contradicts its findings. On July 13, Georgia State University Psychology Professor Kevin Swartout and his colleagues published a study, "Trajectory Analysis of the Campus Serial Rapist Assumption," that seriously undercuts Lisak’s ideas. Swartout’s study, which did specifically set out to gauge student-on-student violence, found that most college rapists could not accurately be described as serial predators.

"Although some men perpetrate rape across multiple college years, these men are not at high risk entering college and account for a small percentage of campus perpetrators—at least 4 of 5 men on campus who have committed rape will be missed by focusing solely on these men," wrote the study’s authors.

Policymakers would be wise to let go of the notion that the average American campus is home to a dedicated contingent of rampaging sociopaths that must be stopped at all costs. Such thinking has provided cover for federal bureaucrats to endlessly expand their efforts to root out imaginary monsters—to the detriment of due process and academic freedom. It has also duped the media into uncritically accepting the lies of people like Duke University’s Crystal Mangum and UVA’s Jackie, whose nightmarish tails of ritualistic, premeditated violence destroyed the reputations of dozens of innocent people.

None of which is to say that the campus rape crisis is made up. Women are assaulted on college campuses all the time. But if we want to do anything to stop this, we might look for solutions outside the lens of a study that was never about campus violence in the first place.

(For more on this story, please see Linda M. LeFauve's piece on David Lisak's work, "Campus Rape Expert Can’t Answer Basic Questions About His Sources.")

*This sentence has been corrected: most rapists are serial offenders, and 90 percent of rapes are committed by serial offenders, according to Lisak.

Hopper's quote referencing a sense of "entitlement" was expanded, and contexted provided, to improve clarity.

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  • kinnath||

    Activist Misrepresents Results of Study to Achieve Political Goals! Film at 11!

  • ||

    Why wait till 11? It's on four cable news channels right now!

  • BambiB||

    Smells sort of like Michael A. Bellesiles fraud, Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. Bellesiles also had a "dog ate my homework" approach to raw data - only in his case, he claimed that all of the research data was destroyed by a pumping leak. In this case, the "researcher" claims he "can't remember"... which is more in line with Clintonista technique.

  • Cyto||

    I've been in plenty of lab meetings, professional society meetings, guest speaker presentations, etc. where researchers from graduate students to emeritus professors talk about their work. Everyone talks enthusiastically, extensively and extemporaneously about their methods. With anyone, all the time. At poster sessions, after talks, during talks, at the bar later.... researchers love to talk about their research and know it thoroughly, inside and out.

    For every paper they publish, there are dozens, even hundreds of experiments that were done trying to get their experiments just right so that they had the proper data to go to publication. I never once heard someone who "can't remember" important details about an experiment. Even decades later.

  • Cyto||

    Hopper sounds like a normal researcher.... willing and even excited to talk about his work. Lisak also sounds like someone who is excited to talk about his work, but not with someone skeptical of his methods or conclusions. I'll take Hopper's endorsement at face value, which means that Lisak was probably relatively properly motivated when he published. Perhaps years of people listening to his speculations about the problem that go beyond things he has thoroughly researched have built up a sense of certainty that he doesn't want to assault.

    In my (limited) experience with researchers following bad methodology, it is difficult to open a line of communication that bridges different world views. I was in a behavioral psychology lab meeting once where an obviously flawed experiment was being presented. Two of us were from molecular biology backgrounds and could see obvious flaws in the methods. All of the behavioral guys had a "but that's how this is done" attitude. It took a while for us to reach the group and get them to understand our objections. Perhaps this is related to the interview situation here.

    Add in the obvious assumptions that Lisak must have about the motivations of this reporter and his recalcitrance seems much less sinister and more mundane. Although probably impractical, I'd suggest a face to face interview with a promise of a chance to respond to and potentially correct the article before publication.

  • Robert Riversong||

    You seem to be wearing blinders. That Hopper "vigorously" defended Lisak, insisted he was a man of integrity, and then leaped to the same kind of unsubstantiated (and likely unwarranted) conclusions about college students as a class ("They are entitled!" he insisted... "They think they can get away with it. If anything, they might be at higher risk for committing sexual assault.") demonstrates clearly his own bias and prejudice.

    Lisak is one of the most unscrupulous researchers in the field of campus sexual assault. That Dr. Mary Koss, American Regents’ Professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, whose early work in collaboration with Ms Magazine contributed to the well-known but much disputed “1 in 5” statistic, said of Lisak's advocacy - “It’s one of the most egregious examples of a policy with an inadequate scientific basis" - is reason enough to doubt Lisak's integrity.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I say, if a study feels right, subscribe to its findings.

  • Robert Riversong||

    In other words, if a study supports your own bias, believe it.

  • ||

    His research provides evidence of the notion that "campus rapists are often serial predators" who perpetrate a "cycle of violence" unless stopped, according to the memo.

    At this point, the instant I hear about someone who is a "leading expert" in something like sexual assault, or is obsessed with the evils of homosexual sex, or seems to really like to study child abuse, etc, I just think "would I be even remotely surprised to find out this person is/was an actual perpetrator of the thing they seem obsessed with?"

    Because frankly, the more these people get scrutinized, the more it seems they almost always have a personal reason for being so interested in their given subject.

  • WTF||

    Sort of like addicts such as Bill Bennett who think everyone's vices must be prohibited by government because he has no self-control so no one else must be able to control themselves, either.

  • Mainer2||

    I was going to bet that someone would mention Bill "Ram" Bennett.

  • Robert Riversong||

    Lisak is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. His survey instrument used to collect the data on sexual assault for his "study" was the Abuse Perpetration Inventory.

    That his own early experience influenced Lisak's academic interests is not unusual or problematic. That he has been grossly misrepresenting both his data and the relevance and validity of his conclusions is what marks him as an advocate rather than a scientist.

  • WTF||

    None of which is to say that the campus rape crisis is made up. Women are assaulted on college campuses all the time.

    No, Robby, the rate of all violent crime, including rape, has declined steadily since the 1990s, and the rate of rape on campus is actually lower than the rate off campus. So the campus rape crisis is in fact made up by any objective analysis.

  • Libertymike||

    Of course there is no campus rape crisis; however, citing FBI or other government "statistics" on crime, or anything else, is probably not going to carry the day - too often peeps here cite the FBI numbers as proof that the rate of violent crime has been decreasing.

    Why should one accord any faith to government numbers?

  • ||

    Why should one accord any faith to government numbers?

    Because at least if they are using the same flawed methodology or have the same agenda they should at least get the trend correct.

  • ||

    Why should one accord any faith to government numbers?

    One shouldn't. But when talking to a non-libertarian audience you need to have good reason to question those numbers, otherwise you end up conforming to the stereotype of libertarians promoted by our detractors.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Why should one accord any faith to government numbers?

    Because, like it or not, they're the primary sources for such information right now.

    The fact that there's government agencies dedicated to compiling this data doesn't mean whatever is produced by said agencies is automatically incorrect. If there are better sources available right now outside the public sector that have quantified this data in a more thorough manner than the FBI, you're welcome to cite them here and encourage these institutions' future efforts to continue archiving annual statistics.

    But until those studies become the de facto information pool for most of the country, we're stuck with what we have, because I'm certainly not going to waste precious time away from my family obsessively tracking and counting every single crime statistic nationwide like Rain Man. If you have such time and resources available to you, have at it and more power to you.

  • Harold Falcon||

    In this case the government actually has an incentive to make the numbers show that crime is increasing so as to justify increasing budgets. So when the numbers show the opposite of what the FBI would like it bears paying attention too.

  • Robert Riversong||

    Every study of violent crime trends in the US has come to the same conclusions, regardless of whether the data is from the FBI (incomplete but the most objective crime data available) or from victim surveys.

    The eighteen-year 2014 DOJ national study on campus sexual violence, the most thorough one to date, shows a rate of campus sexual assault of 0.61% per year and of rape at 0.2% per year - both numbers about 25% lower than for similarly-aged non-student women and about 50% reduced from the late 1990s.

  • Microaggressor||

    Those cocktail party invitations don't write themselves, you know.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Rape on campus certainly happens. It is the idea thst it is happening at such an unusually high rate that it constitutes a crisis that is dubious.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    None of which is to say that the campus rape crisis is made up. Women are assaulted on college campuses all the time.

    Really?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Gosh. Do you think he literally meant "all" the time, as in when one rape nears completion, another commences to take up the slack?

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    No, he means go to any campus and there is certain to be a woman being assaulted at that very moment.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    That must be it. Gosh.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    what else would you expect from a war on rape?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    This is Robby's main weakness--for all the good reporting and digging that he does on these stories, he undermines it with lazy writing. That's the kind of line that should be reserved as hyperbole in a comment board, not a piece of journalism.

    Yes, campus rape and sexual assault in general is a social problem. But college campuses are not rape factories except in the minds of histrionic feminists and low-T males.

  • ||

    I agree. This is sloppy reporting. It vastly underplays the importance of falsified evidence and research fraud in the area of campus sexual assault.
    Lisak clearly violated ethical guidlines for psychologists. Hopper's defense of Lisak is dodgy and does not speak to the methodological sleight of hand that Lisak committed, published, and falsely disseminated in various presentations to the public and the professional research community.

  • PapayaSF||

    Whenever I see a student survey, I think of the one my sixth grade class was given about drugs. My friends and I thought it was hilarious that they were asking about us taking drugs, including plenty we had never even heard of. So we giggled and checked "yes" to all sorts of things. I really wonder if the people running the survey believed that our suburban elementary school had a den of opium smokers.

  • ||

    Oh, dude, I'm sure they wanted to believe. Honestly, why else give such a survey? Only the stupidest people imaginable could think that such a survey would be in any way accurate.

  • Catatafish & Woodchips||

    "In that demimonde that lies between social studies and kickball, I chase the dragon."

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    *opera applause*

  • The Late P Brooks||

    GRAB ITS FUCKING LEG!

  • Mainer2||

    That quote just clanged on your ears as ringing false, didn't it ?

  • Fizban||

    Like a big ol' hit on the giant gong from Gene Gene the Dancing Machine.

  • Jordan||

    The Church of Carbontology could use a man like Lisak.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    This dude is to psychology as Mann is to climatism. What I want to know is does he have a Nobel prize and is he suing Steyn?

  • ||

    "The Church of Carbontology"

    even our gub'ment is in on the charade

    massive fraud as NOAA makes up data to show temp increase of 2 degrees when we are actually in cooling trend

    https://goo.gl/KsTjMc

  • Almanian - Trump's Woodchipper||

    Everybody gettin' raped everywhere up in here.

  • ||

    Leftist lies and bullshit never end. The pushers of every single one of their causes gets caught lying, usually repeatedly.

    Is if too cynical of me to judge anyone caught telling a calculated lie a liar and unworthy of any credibility from there on out? Why does anyone engage with these people?

  • ||

    Because 1) people are stupid and too many of them believe words rather than scrutinizing actions, and 2) I swear the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect applies to way more than reading the newspaper. When people don't have explicit knowledge about a subject, they will actually listen to someone who says they do, even if that person has given no evidence of their expertise in the field being discussed.

  • Mainer2||

    Heck, people defer to someone as an authority figure if they are wearing a blue blazer.

  • Catatafish & Woodchips||

    *looks at emergency blue blazer hanging behind office door and smiles nefariously*

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    The pushers of every single one of their causes gets caught lying, usually repeatedly.

    Is if too cynical of me to judge anyone caught telling a calculated lie a liar and unworthy of any credibility from there on out? Why does anyone engage with these people?

    It's the cult of science. If you have a diploma on your wall in STEM, many of the "don't like math" types worship you like you're some wizard or something. Add to that the science evangelist journalists, and you get a bunch of scientific illiterates who ignorantly nod along to some scientifically illiterate journalist's wet dream based loosely upon a recently published study.

  • Robert Riversong||

    As opposed to right-wing and Christian conservative bullshit about the evils of homosexuality, coming mostly from male pedophiles who are later caught with their pants down.

    Leftists might exaggerate their findings in support of a worthy cause, while right-wingers are simple hypocrites who engage in the very behavior they condemn.

  • *GILMORE*||

    I find it sort of ridiculous anyone even wastes time trying to validate these survey-based data on "Campus Assault", when any rough comparison to *actual sexual assault statistics* shows that college-campuses are significantly more-safe than the general public

    "A 2014 report from the Department of Justice called Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013 found that non-students aged 18-24 were 20% more likely to be sexually assaulted than students. Also, as these Reuters graphics show, the severity of the assault was worse for non-students, the rate of completed rape as opposed to other kinds of assault being 50% higher."

    Meaning - who cares what his survey "suggests"? any basic sanity-check of actual crime-data shows that their bullshit derivative 'analysis' is based on bad assumptions to begin with. Not only do college students suffer significantly less assault - but sexual assault overall has been in decline for over 2 decades.

    i.e. 'Campus Rape' isn't a problem unless you believe college students are super-special and that their reduced-threat levels nevertheless deserve more attention than regular non-students.

  • *GILMORE*||

    "None of which is to say that the campus rape crisis is made up."

    And thank you Robby for the Obligatory Statement of Credulity we've come to expect.

  • Mainer2||

    Something about the human mind...

    The fake rape crisis is still somehow real.

    But you know what's real that we don't/won't/can't accept ?
    A group of armed agents of the state coming into a jail cell and lynching a woman.
    In America. In 2015.

  • Mainer2||

    You would deny them victim-cred ?
    How else are middle and upper middle class white girls going to play the victim card ?

  • *GILMORE*||

    Clearly, we must listen to privileged college women spin a fact-less yarn about a non-existent "crisis", and it is imperative that they be given tons of federal money and endless attention by the media.

    OR ELSE THEY'LL CRY AND CALL YOU A RAPE-APOLOGIST

    Oh, and Glenn Reynolds? Says the Campus Rape Crisis is like, totally Made-Up.

    he actually uses the same basic facts that everyone else (including Robby) studiously avoids

    - that sexual assault, as a category of crime, has been in secular decline for 2 decades+

    - and that college campuses in particular show a lower-level of sexual assault in particular relative to the average

    While people might counter that this "Real Data" hides a super-duper amount of "unseen" stuff.... at best, the people making these claims do *nothing* to validate this point and substantiate it - because its so much easier to argumentum ad ignorantium - "You Cant Prove There *Isn't*!!"

  • Robert Riversong||

    The DOJ study you refer to was based entirely on survey data - NOT "actual sexual assault statistics" or reported crime data (which every study has shown is far lower than what victims report in surveys).

    So, while Lisak's survey instruments were largely irrelevant to his alleged findings, your condemnation or surveys in general exposes your own ignorance and undermines your credibility.

  • ||

    "This went through institutional review and this was people of integrity conducting this research," he said.

    I'm kind of curious what the context for this statement was. Because by itself it sounds kind of stupid/weaselly.

  • ||

    Stop looking at the methodology and take their word for it. They are experts. They have integrity.

    Stop. Questioning. Them.

  • Mainer2||

    I'm guessing it was a Blue Ribbon Committee that studied the issue. Cause you know, that's the best kind of committee.

  • ||

    It sounds like the statements around this guy: http://retractionwatch.com/201.....t-finding/

    If some of the answers in this story are correct, this article should seriously be reviewed for retraction by the publisher. Springer.

  • ||

    (I guess I should add, the reason it sounds weaselly is that IRBs are concerned primarily with the treatment of research subjects and the handling of their personal information [I have only been through the mandatory training and re-training and written a faux proposal, though; there are commenters who have dealt with IRBs directly and can give more informed input]; the statement, by itself, seems to suggest that our concerns about the conclusions researchers are drawing should somehow be assuaged by the fact that it's undergone institutional review, which is of course silly. In context it could mean something else, which is why I ask.)

  • *GILMORE*||

    I would assume the institutional review doesn't necessarily cover any claims the author makes about the study *outside the study itself*, correct?

    Meaning, =

    ""Several other interviews and news articles about Lisak imply that he extensively interrogated the subjects of his 2002 study. He also told LeFauve during his conversation with her that he had interviewed "most of them." ""

    This claim came 10 years after the study. and - AFAIK - there's no reference to or documentation of any of those subsequent interviews in the actual study itself.

    I'm not sure how saying, "well the study was peer-approved" provides any credibility to those later, expansive claims. But that seems to be what the supporters of the study are going for.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Is it possible that x% of all student-student sexual encounters are retrospectively identified as rape and the "serial rapists" are just the guys getting a lot of action?

    They should correct for that.

  • Mrs. Lemuel Struthers||

    So, a social science study turns out to be mostly bullshit?

    Who could've predicted that?

  • NL_||

    I just want to distinguish the statistics here. The alleged 90% stat either appies to rapes or rapists, but not both. Robby is using both interchangeably, but I doubt Lisak used the 90% stat for both rapes and rapists.

    If 90% of rapists are serial rapists and 10% of rapists commit a single rape, then (if we assume a series of attacks requires a minimum of 3) the proportion of serial-rapist rapes is at least 96% versus less than 4% of rapes committed by one-time offenders (e.g. 90 rapists commit at least 270 rapes versus 10 rapists who commit 10 rapes, so 270/280=96.4% and 10/280=3.6%).

    Whereas if 90% of rapes are committed by serial rapists, then it's plausible that, for every 100 rapes, 90 of them are committed by at least 30 guys and maybe only by 10 or fewer (i.e. 3 to 9+ rapes per rapist) and the remaining 10 committed by 10 others.

    Of course, the notion that we can really know the numbers seems outlandish, given that we're discussing a crime that many victims don't report.

  • Azathoth!!||

    If a tree falls in the woods and there's no one around to hear it, did it make a sound?

    No, it did not.

    Sound is the impact of soundwaves on a membrane that vibrates bones and feeds that vibration to nerves as a sensation a brain registers as 'sound'. Without the brain, the air just moved. It has to be heard to be sound.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    A rape has to be reported to be a rape? I don't know I can jump to that conclusion. There's a hell of a lot of situations where a rape victim may not report.

  • Robert Riversong||

    Your assertions are sophomoric and patently false.

    Sound is a patterned, or information-carrying, wave propagating through air (or other fluid medium) and exists independently of the consciousness of the sound.

    If no one is in the woods, but a recording device is there, then the fact of sound can be proved objectively, without any immediate consciousness of the event.

  • Robert Riversong||

    "This sentence has been corrected: most rapists are serial offenders, and 90 percent of rapes are committed by serial offenders, according to Lisak."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    First and foremost, the public skools teach credulous unquestioning acceptance of assertions put forth by authority figures.
    Until that changes.....
    *outright, prolonged laugter*

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    None of which is to say that the campus rape crisis is made up.

    Citation?

    Women are assaulted on college campuses all the time.

    Citation?

    For fuck's sake, Robby, how can you spend 2,000 words royally thrashing the shoddy application of survey results and then type those statements?

  • ||

    Because, unlike you, he is not a rape apologist and everyone can see that.

    (He is signaling)

  • Robert Riversong||

    Calling someone a "rape apologist" is equivalent to calling a pro-choice woman an "abortion supporter".

    In both cases, they are grossly incorrect and profoundly biased misrepresentations of another's position, disseminated only by the ideologically extreme and wantonly deceptive (such as Lisak).

  • ant1sthenes||

    Hey, he's out on the front line against the progs, and they have no mercy for their enemies. Cut him some slack for trying to preemptively make the case for being allowed to live in one of the nicer re-education camps.

  • Swiss Servator, rudert schwer!||

    But the idea that he conducted similarly comprehensive interviews with a majoif that rity of the subjects of the 2002 study

    Er...wut?

  • *GILMORE*||

    Campus Rape Crisis? = yes, most definitely made-the-fuck-up, says Heather McDonald many years ago.

    Worth a read. Its long and detailed. With emphasis on the *incentives* as to why people keep wanting to believe this bullshit claim...

    "This claim, first published in Ms. magazine in 1987, took the universities by storm. By the early 1990s, campus rape centers and 24-hour hotlines were opening across the country, aided by tens of millions of dollars of federal funding.

    ...Victimhood rituals sprang up: first the Take Back the Night rallies, in which alleged rape victims reveal their stories to gathered crowds of candle-holding supporters;...” A special rhetoric emerged: victims’ family and friends were “co-survivors”; “survivors” existed in a larger “community of survivors.”

    An army of salesmen took to the road, selling advice to administrators on how to structure sexual-assault procedures, and lecturing freshmen on the “undetected rapists” in their midst. Rape bureaucrats exchanged notes at such gatherings as the Inter Ivy Sexual Assault Conferences and the New England College Sexual Assault Network. Organizations like One in Four and Men Can Stop Rape tried to persuade college boys to redefine their masculinity away from the “rape culture.” The college rape infrastructure shows no signs of a slowdown."

  • *GILMORE*||

    "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.
    ...
    All subsequent feminist rape studies have resulted in this discrepancy between the researchers’ conclusions and the subjects’ own views. A survey of sorority girls at the University of Virginia found that only 23 percent of the subjects whom the survey characterized as rape victims felt that they had been raped—a result that the university’s director of Sexual and Domestic Violence Services calls “discouraging.”...Sixty-five percent of what the feminist researchers called “completed rape” victims and three-quarters of “attempted rape” victims said that they did not think that their experiences were “serious enough to report.”

    In short, believing in the campus rape epidemic depends on ignoring women’s own interpretations of their experiences—supposedly the most grievous sin in the feminist political code."

  • ||

    You are not factoring in false consciousness, are you?

  • *GILMORE*||

    it wasn't part of the questionnaire

    Speaking of questionnaires... other "Sexual Violence" research which needs to be thoroughly thrown out the window is the CDC's attempt to redefine it to meaninglessness

    I don't know if the expansion of "Sexual Violence" to mean stuff like, "telling your partner it makes you feel unloved if they don't fuck you", or "making suggestive remarks on facebook" is new to the Obama administration, but its certainly a conscious effort to turn everything under the sun that happens in relationships into a potential "Problem" that clearly only Federal Policy can solve.

    From what i can tell, its the CDC seeing 'sexual violence' as a new funding-goldmine, so they're trying to make the 'problem' seem as big as humanly possible.

    Never mind that this approach naturally ends up diluting *actual* crime and violence in a sea of bullshit 'complaints'.

  • ||

    "...new to the Obama administration, but its certainly a conscious effort to turn everything under the sun that happens in relationships into a potential "Problem" that clearly only Federal Policy can solve."

    He certainly is special, isn't he? His new HUD initiative to locate low cost housing in the midst of every upscale neighborhood in America is nothing more than a narcissistic personality disorder attempting to move people around like game pieces on a board. That he and his minions would attempt to have sway over every single human interaction is not surprising at all.

  • *GILMORE*||

    I think its telling that he's saved some of his ugliest ideas for the last year of his term

    he knew the ""Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)"" thing was going to make every suburban soccer-mom suddenly question whether the Progressive Agenda is really all that hot.... so he ensured to put it out there when there's a woman running for president, and the news regarding it would be buried on page-6 behind a mountain of Trump-Articles.

  • ||

    He is going to destroy billions of dollars of property value. It is stunning really. I wonder how many people who are certainly going to get fucked by this voted for him. Twice.

    Getting the government they deserve, good and hard. I would laugh if it weren't so tragic.

  • *GILMORE*||

    Meh. I think the thing is actually calculated to be a $ windfall for admin-approved "affordable housing" developers, who will be granted property in otherwise high-priced communities on the cheap, by mandate.

    Whether it really hurts values in the rest of those communities remains to be seen (*it will, sure - but how much? who knows).

    I know Westchester, NY, where its being tested - and the main objection is not really just the fact of these developments existing *at all*, as much as *where* they're located and especially what it will mean for schools, etc. which are the real linchpin for property values.

  • Akira||

    "His new HUD initiative to locate low cost housing in the midst of every upscale neighborhood in America"

    Oh good god, is this a thing now?

    I know this is just an anecdote, but... I used to live at this cheap apartment in a cul-de-sac that was actually a pretty nice area. Then some of the landlords started taking Section 8, and suddenly, things would get stolen, there were domestic disturbances constantly, and the cops were on the block every night. There was one incident in which a couple got into an argument and fought each other with knives out in the parking lot. It shouldn't be any surprise that when you import people who aren't paying rent, you generally get people who don't give a shit.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    There's also the fact that the 'only 2% of rape claims are false' claim comes from a book called Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller which was published in the 70's and based that statement not on any actual study, but on the claims of one police chief in one city.

    So it's a 40 year old claim from a feminist propaganda tract based on one person's unsourced opinion and feminists still repeat it today.

  • Akira||

    I love that statistic. How the hell do they know that?? If that statement from the police chief is true, that would indicate that they only discover 2% of the false rape claims. What possible methodology could reveal that there are absolutely zero false rape claims that went down on record as real rapes?

    Do they have a crystal ball? A ouija board?

  • Sevo||

    20% of America's kids go to bed hungry!

  • SimonD||

    The 2% number came from a single Australian study that used a method to determine a false claim that was extremely narrow.

    In fact, it was so narrow that a police investigation determination of a false claim wasn't enough to classify it as false. I think it took the actual claimant admitting falsehood.

  • Robert Riversong||

    Ironically, but to her credit, Dr. Mary Koss is now one of the strongest critics of Lisak's research and his campus advocacy.

    “It’s one of the most egregious examples of a policy with an inadequate scientific basis" she said.

    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.

    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. The goal is not necessarily to punish a rapist, but to allow both parties to achieve closure on the incident and grow from it.

  • kinghiram91||

    Money. Why does it always come back to money?

  • Septawn||

    The fact that all these articles exposing the bullshit in the debate have to constantly say "even one rape is bad" is a testament to how poisonous this bs has become. Can we accept that virtually everyone knows and agrees that rape is bad. We don't have to preface these with saying rape is bad, we all know that.

    Everytime one of those fascist feminists crys rape apologists, we should laugh them out of the building, not be cowed to the rules that they are trying to impose.

  • ||

    Liberals and progs should be laughed at for evey one of their movements.

    It's the only way to point out to them and others their obsurdity. Facts don't work with them because it's all about feelz with them.

    plus it's fun to see them cry

  • Rhino||

    There are several people who are actually liberals who spend a lot of time decrying and making a mockery of those movements. Just shows how far left and political those movements are. YouTube is littered with accounts, followed by thousands and thousands of subscribers, who put out daily content debunking and mocking SJWs, feminism, etc, and run by people who support atheism, gay marriage, gun control, social welfare programs, and abortion. It's amazing how far out to left field these progressives have become.

  • Robert Riversong||

    Yes, particularly the movement by liberal activists called the American Revolution.

    One need only look at what has become of America today to realize that such progressivism was a bad idea in 1776.

  • Paul.||

    tl;dr

  • Loki||

    So the campus rape "epidemic" is based on a load of bullshit peddled by some SJW activist prof. Hang on, let me find my shocked face...

  • ant1sthenes||

    So, you're saying that we need to empower campus rape boards to fight non-student rapists too.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Are there any studies coming out of academia that are either accurate, or not just made up?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yes, in the hard sciences.

  • Rhino||

    THIS. Seems like too many of these people go into these soft "sciences" because STEM was too difficult for them. The fact that their studies are lazy, half assed, and biased should not be surprising.

  • Rhino||

    Even if the serial rapist thing were true, i fail to see how that justifies a departure from due process or the standard of innocent until proven guilty.

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  • sudon't||

    I have long been skeptical of this "campus rape epidemic".

  • Deadendra||

    Of course, where your premise fails completely is in not even mentioning what the more recent study found in general. What was it, 1 in 10 men had committed rape before or during college, as defined by the FBI?

    So you're right in saying we aren't dealing with a few dedicated monsters, but never do you mention that the alternative is that we're dealing with a massive violence issue. You.note that women are assaulted "all the time," but don't really talk about who is actually doing the assaulting.

    As Donald Trump would say, "someone is doing the raping." As it turns out, 10% of men are doing the raping and are admitting it to researchers. It would seem that some massive heavy handed authoritarianism is warranted.

  • rudehost||

    "1 in 10 men had committed rape before or during college, as defined by the FBI?"

    Such a study doesn't pass the laugh test. There are 150 million or so men in this country. If 1 in 10 men had raped someone at any point in their life there would be 15 million or more rape victims assuming just one rape per guy. There are 85,000 rapes per year according to the FBI. At that pace it would about 150 years to get to the 15 million rapes implied by that 1/10 number.

    A bit of skepticism for such obviously made up numbers is warranted don't you think?

  • Robert Riversong||

    Since the latest and most exhaustive national DOJ study on campus sexual assault found that rape occurs on campus at a rate of 0.2% per year (that's 2 out of 1,000 women) then those 10% of college male rapists must be all raping the same 2 women, since 99.8% of women each year are NOT raped.

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  • Robert Riversong||

    This article and that of Linda LeFauve, are vitally important in exposing the mythical basis of much of the draconian federal legislation and DOE mandates that have turned Universities into witch hunt tribunals.

    But how can Soave conclude with the facile "Women are assaulted on college campuses all the time" when the latest and most comprehensive DOJ study, "Rape and Sexual Assault among College-age Females, 1995-2013", found that sexual assault occurs at a rate of 0.61% per year and rape at a rate of 0.2% - both significantly less than for similarly-aged non-student women.

    The rape culture meme is a largely fabricated story based on the fiction that, in a patriarchy, all heterosexual sex is rape and no woman is really free to consent: The Rape Culture Meme.

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