In a so-called national survey of college women, more than one in four of the respondents said they had been sexually assaulted while attending the University of Wisconsin- Madison (UW-Madison). A sexual assault was defined as penetration, attempted penetration and/or sexual touching without a clear “yes”—not the absence of a “no”.
The sample of women who responded, however, consisted of a self-selected sample, and it is widely believed by critics that this group of women are more likely to have experienced sexual assault. People are more likely to participate in surveys if they have a personal interest in the subject matter. Even the researchers connected to the survey “acknowledged the possibility of an overstated victimization rate because there was evidence that hundreds of thousands of students who ignored the electronic questionnaire were less likely to have suffered an assault”, according to the Washington Post.
Approximately 150,000 students responded to the national survey of students at 27 universities; the average number of sexual assaults was 20 percent. If the survey pool was extended, to include women who had not previously been sexually assaulted, the numbers would almost certainly drop substantially. Nevertheless, “One sexual assault is too many” the Post quotes UT President Gregory L. Evans as saying. Other private colleges, with seemingly unlimited purse strings, are prepared to drop millions to fight a war against college sexual assaults partially based upon such skewed data, and other bogus reports on college rape. If the numbers reported in the survey are correct, college campuses would be among the most dangerous environments in the country where rape is concerned—statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice do not support this contention. Indeed, college students are less likely to be sexually assaulted on campus than a woman on the streets.