Would you believe sexual assaults on campus are actually on the decline?

KC Johnson of Minding the Campus reports.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

New Data Refutes ‘Rape Culture’ Activists

The Washington Post has helpfully compiled a table, using Clery Act statistics, of allegations of campus sexual assaults in 2012 (the last year for which figures are available, including all schools with 1000 or more students). To put it mildly, the data do not substantiate White House claims of a virtually unprecedented violent crime wave on today’s college campuses. The data also, as Reason has observed, suggest that reports of sexual assault are on the decline, further calling into question the “rape culture” panic that has emerged since the 2011“Dear Colleague” letter.

First, consider the schools with the most forcible sex offenses per 1000 students. Most of the schools that ranked the worst were small, residential, liberal arts colleges: Grinnell, Reed, Amherst, Hampshire, Swarthmore, and Connecticut College. Only one school in this list (Grinnell, 1.1 percent) had more than 1 percent of the student body reporting a forcible sex offense. The percentage of students at the other institutions—again, schools with the highest percentage of reported cases—ranged anywhere from 0.6 percent to 0.9 percent. (Note that these figures apply to reported cases, not to convictions.)

Assuming that female students are 50 percent of the student body (underestimating the actual total) and that every reported instance actually was a crime, these figures would range from 4.8 percent to 8.8 percent of female students subjected to sexual assault—far below the 20 percent claimed by the administration. And, again, these totals come from the handful of schools with the highest reported percentage of cases.