Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner looks back on what did and didn’t happen in 2014.

The year of campus sexual assault that wasn’t

This was supposed to be the year that everyone banded together to end campus sexual assault by any means necessary — even if it meant improperly branding young men across the country as rapists.

The focus on sexual assault in 2014, which began in January when President Obama announced a task force to combat the issue on college campuses, can be no coincidence. The “war on women” narrative worked quite well for President Obama and Democrats in 2012, and the 2014 midterms were expected to be challenging for the party. Combine that with the fact that young, unmarried women overwhelmingly voted for Democrats two years ago and it becomes clear why there was such an intense focus on the issue.

In April, the task force released its recommendations for colleges and universities, claiming that “one in five women is sexually assaulted in college.” That claim, based on a Justice Department study of just two universities that had a low response rate, was splashed in headlines across the country — thus beginning a media meltdown akin to the McMartin Preschool child sex abuse hysteria of the 1980s.

Shortly after the task force’s recommendations cited that statistic, American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers and Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler each took it apart. But the desire for action persisted, and it wasn’t until solutions to the supposed epidemic were proposed that people really started to notice just how dangerous the hype had become.