Don’t Let the Rolling Stone Controversy Distract You From the Campus Rape Epidemic

1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted in college. Just 1 percent of attackers are punished.

Protestors in front of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Questions continue to mount about the veracity of the explosive Rolling Stone article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. On Friday, the UVA fraternity allegedly involved released a statement disputing details of the story, and Rolling Stone published a note to readers acknowledging that it had failed to adequately vet the story.

Nevertheless, the serious problem with sexual assault on America’s college campuses cannot be denied, as the data below shows. (For more details on the research cited here, read the original version of this article.)

This article has been updated.

Sources

“1 in 5 undergraduate women…”: Christopher P. Krebs, Christine H. Lindquist, Tara D. Warner, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Sandra L. Martin; “College Women’s Experiences with Physically Forced, Alcohol- or Other Drug-Enabled, and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Before and Since Entering College” (link)

“Of the undergraduate women who are sexually assaulted while in college…”: Christopher P. Krebs, Christine H. Lindquist, Tara D. Warner, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Sandra L. Martin for the National Institute of Justice; “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“Women are more likely to be sexually assaulted…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“4 percent of undergraduate men…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“2.5 percentof male undergrads admit…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“63 percent of college men who admit…”: David Lisak and Paul M. Miller, “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists” (PDF)

“85 percent of college sexual assault victims…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“More than 1/4 of victims say…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“Frat members who took part in a rape prevention program…”: John D. Foubert and Bradford C. Perry, “Creating Lasting Attitude and Behavior Change in Fraternity Members and Male Student Athletes” (PDF)

“Before college, sexual assault perpetration rates…”: John D. Foubert, Johnathan T. Newberry, and Jerry L. Tatum, “Behavior Differences Seven Months Later: Effects of a Rape Prevention Program” (link)

“4 percent of college sexual assault victims report…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

“Percentage of assailants who are disciplined…”: “The Campus Sexual Assault Survey” (PDF)

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest