Hysteria And Its Discontents

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Jonah Goldberg should have known he would be painted as a rape apologist when he refuted the oft-repeated “one in five” campus rape statistic. The National Review Online editor was locked in a Twitter debate with Matthew Dowd of ABC News, who posited, “[O]ne out of five college women are either raped or victims of attempted rape. thats [sic]a fact.”

Well, no. It isn’t a fact. That statistic has been proven, again and again, to be nothing more than a token of feminist mythology, similar to the claim that wife-beating spikes on Super Bowl Sunday. The Department of Justice’s most recent comprehensive study of rape on college campuses concludes that the number is actually .03-in-five, making Dowd’s claim roughly a thirty-three fold exaggeration.

The emotionalism that envelopes the topic of rape makes truth a commodity much less valued than concern for the victims, some of whom are genuine, and some of whom are false accusers. Ron Fournier of National Journal demonstrated this tendency to undervalue truth when he joined in the chiding of Goldberg, tweeting: “Jonah, you’re splitting statistical hairs to undermine an argument against …. rape. Let’s call it a day.”

Continues on PatriotUpdate

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