George Will’s problem with rape statistics (how many women to make a scourge?)

Dr. Jen Gunter

George Will continues with his assertion that it is mathematically impossible for 1 in 5 women to have been sexually assaulted while in college. He calls the statistics “insupportable” and when he replied to Senators Blumenthal, Feinstein, Baldwin, and Casey he chided them to temper their “rhetoric” about the “scourge of sexual assault.” But it’s not just the statistics that appear to bother Mr. Will as he also expresses concern about definitions:

“I think I take sexual assault more serious that you do. Which is why I worry about definitions of that category of crime that might, by their breadth, tend to trivialize it.”

According to the CDC sexual assault (or sexual violence) includes the following:

  • Rape
  • Unwanted touching
  • Acts that do not have physical contact between the victim and the perpetrator–for example, sexual harassment, threats, and peeping.

Now let’s focus on the 20% of women being sexually assaulted that…

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