Copyright: Public Domain / Used With Permission

We really don’t. The idea that in the short period of three years the rape incidence is twice that of the lifetime incidence in the society as a whole? No, really, that’s not something we believe. That would mean that the incidence of rape on university campuses in the UK is 30 times that in the society at large. No, sorry, not believed:

A total of 4,500 students from 153 different UK institutions responded to the study – the first consultation of students on this issue in a decade. What it found was shocking: 62% of students and graduates have experienced sexual violence as per the definition used by Rape Crisis. Groping, harassment, unwanted touching, coercion, sexual assault, rape – all commonplace, it turns out, in UK universities. Shockingly, 8% of female respondents said they had been raped at university – double the 4% of all women in England and Wales that the Office for National Statistics estimates.

The ONS numbers are here. Lifetime incidence of self-reported rape upon females in the survey (note that this is not interactions with the legal system at all, most certainly not convictions) is indeed that 4% or so. This is for the 16-59 age group. Grossly too high we all agree.

The average time at university is a little longer than 3 years but let’s take that three as being the right number. We’ve a claim that rape (no, not sexual assault) is that 8% of all female students in those three years. Roughly enough that’s one fifteenth of the time period being measured by ONS. The reported incidence is twice. Thus the claim is that the incidence of rape at university is 30 times that outside in the society in general.

No, we don’t believe it. Sorry, we just don’t. Our best bet, and it is just a supposition or two, is as follows.

Firstly, the survey of students isn’t random nor properly weighted. This is self-reported, people deciding to do the survey or not. It’s not a surprise in such circumstances that those with a point to make answer surveys about said point. Secondly, the more modern definition of rape as described upon campus tends not to have all that close a relationship with the legal definition in a courtroom. Note that this isn’t a controversial point – the rape campaigners tell us this very thing when they complain that what they insist is rape is not so treated by the legal system.

We are absolutely certain that the incidence of rape at British universities is not 30 times that in the surrounding society. Thus we just do not believe these numbers – for good reason too. The claim is that it is climbing towards the world’s highest rape rate, that upon men in American prisons. Nope, not believable.