There are quite a few things wrong with the way the survey was conducted. Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner breaks it down.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

1 in 6 MIT undergraduates have not been sexually assaulted

Another day, another false statistic trying to tell women that college campuses are no safer than the slums of South Africa.

This time, the survey comes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and claims that one in six female undergraduates at the university have been sexually assaulted.

First, let’s point out that the survey was sent to all 10,000+ MIT students, but only 35 percent actually responded (and they received $10 for doing so). This low response rate tends to skew the answers, as people who choose to take the survey may do so because they have experienced some kind of sexual assault or harassment. The MIT researchers behind the survey admitted such bias in their report on the findings.

“Response bias is expected in virtually any voluntary survey, particularly one focused on a narrow topic,” the report says, adding that it isn’t possible to know if respondents who had experienced sexual assault were more or less likely to participate.

“This does not make the findings from the survey any less accurate; it simply means that the rates based on those who responded to the survey cannot be extrapolated to the MIT student population as a whole, and cannot be validly compared to results from other surveys,” the researchers noted.

Of course, extrapolating the study to the larger MIT student population and comparing it to other surveys was the first thing media outlets did.

Now, for that one-in-six number, which only applies to the 914 female undergrads who responded. That was found by broadening the definition of “assault” to include unwanted touching or kissing. Not surprisingly, this was the unwanted attention most likely experienced by female undergrads.