By ASHE SCHOW (@ASHESCHOW) To take a page from alarmist writers who gleefully post headlines claiming that one-in-five women are sexually assaulted in college, I bring you some information that will be either ignored or severely downplayed.
It turns out the "one-in-five number" is correct, but it's not the one-in-five the media are reporting. Harvard University released its sexual assault statistics as part of federal regulations, and it turns out 18.1 percent of reported rapes on campus are "unfounded," defined by Harvard police as "any report of a crime that is found to be false or baseless."
If this number is reported anywhere in the media that's so eager to report every faulty survey purporting to show 20 percent of women are sexually assaulted in college, you can bet they will add in all the caveats they leave out in reporting incidences of sexual assault.
For example, this is an extremely limited report — it's just one campus. That might fly when trying to claim there's a national epidemic of campus sexual assault, but it really means nothing. Harvard could be an outlier. It could be the norm. What the report does have going for it is that it is based on evidence (actual reports) and not vague descriptions of sexual acts determined to be assault by biased researchers searching for a crisis.
And while the headline for this report over at the campus paper, The Crimson, falls back on alarmist tactics, the underlying story is more hype than substance.
Yes, "reported campus rapes nearly double[d] from 2013 to 2014" at Harvard ... from 17 to 33. That's 33 students reporting a rape to university police, local law enforcement or "campus security authorities," defined by The Crimson as "university officials involved in student administration." Harvard has a student population of 21,000. Thirty-three reported rapes, even if all of them were 100 percent true, is 0.15 percent of the student population — far from the constant claims of one-in-five.
Even if you accept the idea that just 20 percent of women report their rapes, and adjust accordingly, that would still be only 0.78 percent of the student population experiencing a rape, which is much more in line with federal statistics.
This also means that if 18.1 percent of those reports were false, that's just six reports. This would also suggest that the other 81.9 percent of reports were true; however, that is overly optimistic. Some could be true, but many don't have evidence one way or the other and can't conclusively be labeled as true.
It doesn't matter, because the media won't report this information in the same way they report inflated findings of sexual assault. This finding doesn't fit their preferred narrative.