Friday, April 17, 2015, king5’s news article, Tumwater and sexual assault statistics

On Thursday, April 16, 2015, king5.com put up a story with a sentence to the effect that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted every year.  The story says, “Instead, [Tumwater High school counselor Todd Caffey] and a group of male students relied on a national statistic that states one-in-four women are sexually assaulted each year.”

Oh, boy.  Fear, fear, fear.  Danger.  If you are a woman or a girl, you are in grave danger. . .

I actually spend some time on the Internet . . . I actually do some research on some subjects.  I don’t remember reading that . . . I do remember reading this  . . . “You are more likely to be a victim of a vehicle crime than any other crime reported to the Seattle Police Department.”

I emailed both King5.com and counselour Caffey for some authoritative source for his statistics. King5 has not responded.  Caffey responded to say thanks . . . he offered no link to any study with any data to substantiate his claims.

I am not sure if they have editors at king5.com . . . and I suppose that Caffey must have heard at some point of peer review . . .

Here is what I wrote to the staff of Tumwater, Caffey and king5 . . .

In approximately 2000, the Dept of Justice and others published a study called
Anyone may find the study at this page
The study may sometimes be referenced as Fischer, Cullen and Turner.
The study went to women of college years and attending a 2-year or 4-year college.  The self-reported survey questions covered a 7-month period of time from the start of the previous academic year (usually September) till approximately April of the following year, or a period of approximately 7 months.
Of the women who answered the survey, which was over 80% but less than 95%, 2.8% answered the questions in such a way as to indicate that they had experienced rape or attempted rape in the previous 7 months. page 10, paragraph 1.
Of the women who were not undergraduates, the figure was .8% or less than 1%, page 10, paragraph 4.
The numbers of 2.8% over a 7-month period cannot be properly extrapolated over the course of a women’s time at college. At least some women who experience rape or attempted rape are likely to take some basic steps to reduce the likelihood of re-occurence of such assaults.  Other women who are assaulted may well continue to drink or strip at drinking parties . . .
The study authors suggest that we should suppose that 5% of college-aged women in college are raped or subjected to attempted rape per year, page 10, last paragraph.  That is an unfortunate supposition which does not account for both the reduced likelihood of a rape survivor being raped again, as well as different living and social arrangements in the summer months.
The supposition about 5% also does not take into account the fact that the rape rate per thousand could remain the same over the next five months of a hypothetical 12-month period, but it be possible that most of the “new” rapes and attempted rapes be committed against women who were assaulted in the previous several months at drinking and stripping parties . . .
If a lot of the rape and attempted rapes do take place at drinking-and-stripping parties, then, some of the sexual assault problems may be limited to women who have a more liberal attitude to the use of alcohol, strip-pong and shots-on-bare-stomach drinking.
Moreover, the fact that the rape and attempted rape rate for women in college who are not undergraduates is less than 1% suggests that at least some of the women change their behavior over time in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of rape and attempted rape.
The estimated rate of 5% per year for college students of rape or attempted rape of undergraduate age cannot be extrapolated to junior high or high school students, and we know from the study itself that it cannot be extrapolated to women who are graduate students.
We also can’t use this statistic to presume that 20% of college aged women are “sexually assaulted” in college.  The reason is that one of the chief causes of the “sexual assaults” in college is heavy drinking at some parties.  But some women engage in little or no drinking and there are others who continue to go to parties and drink heavily and perhaps even play strip pong or other sexually interesting games, despite having been “sexually assaulted” previously at such parties.
Sometime people drink “shots” of alcohol on the bare stomachs of women  . . . in some cases, that is 6 to 10 inches away from sexual assault and one small way to prevent some conceivable sexual assault is to not have people drink shots on your belly button.   Oh, boy . . . who would have thought of that?
So, some of the 3% assaulted each year may be some of the same group sexually assaulted in a previous year or a subsequent year.  Women who drink heavily and go to parties with heavy drinking and drugs sometimes become repeat sexual assault victims.
Generally speaking, for women who don’t go to drinking parties, or who do go to parties and abstain from drinking, sexual assault does not happen randomly or it is fairly rare.
Here is a music video on youtube including drinking, drinking games and implying sex and suggestive of the possibility of sexual assault.  It is a great video with great and fun music.  It includes young women playing strip pong.  I am not saying sexual assault does not take place at college, but some of the ones who play strip pong at a party of dancing and drinking and then pass out . . . they may be victims more than once . . . especially if they go next week to another party and drink and strip and do stomach shots . . .
The music video even implies a depiction some women as if they are not fully in possession of their faculties receiving sexual contact; this is how there are 3 to 5% per year of women who are sexually “assaulted” in some of their college years.
Sometimes there are people who drink shots of alcohol on the bare stomachs of partly clothed women . . . and some of these women are later sexually assaulted . . .  Did they deserve it?
No, they didn’t . . . but some of those assaults could be prevented with less use of the alcohol . . .
The study includes rates of other forms of sexual victimization or “sexual victimization.”  One form of sexual victimization included in broader statistics is stalking which includes no physical conduct.  Another form of sexual victimization surveyed is uninvited touching.
If you wish to call uninvited touching “sexual assault,” that would make a lot of the girls at the Patton junior high school in McMinnville, Oregon into “sexual assault victims” because, in and prior to 2007, a lot of the boys in the junior high swatted the butts of their comrades in school.
So, were half the girls or so at the junior high in Oregon “sexual assault victims?”
Another form of sexual victimization surveyed was sexual contact done or attempted by means of nonphysical nonviolent incentives.
Some surveys of sexual victimization include a girl or woman having seen nudity, flashing or mooning.
***
If any of you really believe that 5% of your women friends are raped or nearly raped every year, and that approximately 1/4 of women are “sexually assaulted” each year, just ask ten of your women friends, “when is the last time you were raped, almost raped or groped?”
Do any of you go to church and know 20 to 50 women?  Are 25% of them groped or raped or nearly raped every year?
According to Seattle police, the most common crime in Seattle is car prowling and/or some vehicle crime.  Do 25% of people in Seattle have items stolen from  their car each year?  No, they don’t.
At least among adults older than after their first 2 years in college, it is not 25% that report, “Yes, in the last year I have been raped, made the subject of attempted rape or at least groped.”
As for how many of the junior high or high school girls report groping or being felt up . . . do we have statistics that separate out patting someone’s butt in the hallways v. a guy feeling a girl’s breast while kissing her after or during a date?
I don’t think we do.  At least, I have not read the study.
Apparently two of the original victims themselves pled with the prosecutors to drop the charges . . .
Here is what one girl said about the situation as it was drawing to a close . . .
The definitions that are used for sexual assault in some sexual assault surveys include within them butt swatting while greeting or in goodbye or in passing . . .
(I am not saying, in any given case, to swat a girl’s butt or not . . . just that not every butt swat is the same as sexual assault . . .)
By the standard of there being uninvited touching, probably most of the females at school at some schools in some years have been “sexually assaulted.”
One recent Victoria’s Secret fashion show included at least several instances of butt swapping, one of Taylor Swift and one by Taylor Swift.
The recent NBA half-time performance by Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj included some butt swatting.
So . . . one could suppose . . . Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj are victims of sexual assault . . . but . .. oh . . . they didn’t report it . . . but we don’t know if each instance was invited . . .
Perhaps Taylor Swift has been sexually assaulted by a fashion model.  Millions and millions of people have seen the sexual assault of their friend or favorite artist Taylor Swift on TV or on youtube . . . and we and they have all been powerless to stop the sexual abuse!
Now, I am not a psychologist or a counselour or a sociologist, but one of them named Ofshe of UC Berkeley has said . . .  “The whole question of what constitutes sexual abuse gets defined and redefined to the point where it’s absurd.”
The problem is not the alleged prevalence of “sexual assault,” but there is a problem with some women and girls learning to be assertive and to say, “I don’t like that,” or to not drink very much at college parties.
I actually think playing strip pong could be fun in some circumstances . . . but I don’t think people should drink more than a few drinks and I also think that having a guy drink shots of alcohol on your bare stomach is a bit of an invitation.  It is generally not a good idea . . . Hug them instead or kiss them instead and skip or reduce the shot-on-the-bare-stomach drinking games . . .
And school principals and counselours would be commended to encourage some discussion of being assertive . . .
Yes, I really do think that some men should intervene when they are seeing sexual assault . . . but I also think that not drinking past 2 drinks at the college drinking parties or learning to slap a guy would reduce a lot of the sexual assault problems . . .
Rather than engaging in fear-mongering about allegedly high rates of “sexual assault,” which is a term so broad it could imaginatively include a model swatting the butt of Taylor Swift, things to do that may be more helpful may include encouraging girls and women to be at times self-assertive, to use a stern look or a slap, to know that they have the right and ability to say no, and to discourage alcohol use beyond a drink or two a day.
Though, I will also agree that men should be taught that they will regret abusing women, and that it is good to intervene to protect them.

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