Anti-feminists like Heather MacDonald continue to say that the “one in four college women experience attempted or completed sexual assault” statistic is false. I didn’t offer much of a rebuttal in this post, but I think it’s worth countering the oft-repeated claim that feminists are making up these numbers. In fact, the study that produced the disputed one-in-four statistic used Ohio penal code to define rape and attempted rape, and classified reported experiences accordingly. There was a separate category for coercive sex, and later studies proffered similar results. While many of the women whose experiences were legally rape did not self-identify as rape victims, 30 percent considered suicide after the experience, 31 percent sought help from a therapist, 82 percent reported that the experience had changed them, and only 11 percent said that they did not consider themselves to be victims.
But let’s not let the facts get in the way of the anti-feminist narrative that rape doesn’t happen, except to women who deserve it.
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