Part 5—Good-bye, east end of Cambridge: How many undergraduate women get raped while students at MIT?
We have no idea. In part, that’s because we’ve perused MIT’s report on the subject, which is extremely murky. In part, it’s because we read the New York Times news report about this important topic.
Ideally, young people shouldn’t get assaulted on MIT’s campus, or anywhere else. Perhaps with that thought in mind, the MIT brass composed and conducted a voluntary survey about every conceivable aspect of students’ sexual lives.
Many students completed the survey; the majority of students did not. MIT then composed a bewildering report about the survey’s findings.
Can we talk? If MIT students composed such a survey, we will guess that the school’s professors would have raised two questions:
Possible questions from the professors:The news report by the Times was no better. Richard Perez-Pena never cited the most straightforward statistic to emerge from the survey: five percent of undergraduate women who took the survey said they’ve been raped while at MIT.
How did these kids ever get in this school?
Who put these kids in my class?
Perez-Pena had a larger question in mind: Why won’t the youngsters admit that they’re being “sexually harassed” when they hear dirty jokes?
How many undergraduates get raped while students at MIT? There’s no way to tell from the survey.
That five percent figure seems troubling to us. But there’s no way to know what kinds of experiences these young women were listing as “rapes.” Nor is there any apparent sign that adult elites even care.
Beyond that, the nature of this survey likely means that the five percent figure is a bit of an understatement.
Many respondents to the survey were freshmen and sophomores. One can imagine that the percentage claiming rape must have been higher among women in their senior year. But since no one actually seems to care about any of this, MIT didn’t release such figures, and the New York Times didn’t ask.
In our view, the numbness of that Times report makes it a piece for the ages. Believe it or not, this is the sort of thing that has Perez-Pena tearing his hair:
PEREZ-PENA (10/28/14): There was a similar result on sexual harassment. Among undergraduate respondents, large majorities of men and women said they had heard sexist remarks and inappropriate comments about people’s bodies; more than one-third said someone had uttered crude sexual remarks to them directly; nearly as many had been subjected to people’s tales of sexual exploits; and a smaller number had received offensive digital messages. About one woman in six said someone had repeatedly asked her for a date, even after being refused.Five percent of undergraduate women say they’ve been raped while students at MIT?
But the number who described what had happened to them as sexual harassment was relatively small: 15 percent of undergraduate women, and 4 percent of men.
At the Times, Perez-Pena skipped that statistic entirely. He’s upset because the youngsters won’t say they’ve been “sexually harassed” when exposed to “sexist remarks!”
The original survey, MIT’s report, and the news report in the Times form an unholy trifecta. Boyden Gray's daughter then came along, sweetly reciting for Time.
Here’s what we almost thought we saw when we perused these sad examples of our elite culture:
We almost thought we saw the pitiful practice in which we liberals try to embellish preferred statistics, thereby aping the methods of Fox. We’ll mention a gruesome example:
Everyone knows that women are not paid 77 cents on the dollar “for doing the same work as men.” Still, we modern liberals love that claim. We seem to be willing to dissemble and lie in order to sustain it.
In the course of a multiply bungled survey, 11 percent of undergraduate women directly said they’ve been sexually assaulted or raped while students at MIT.
A serious person might be disturbed by a figure like that. At MIT, though, that number may not have been high enough. So the commissars imposed their own definitions, which were never quite explained.
Presto! We could now say that 17 percent of undergraduate women said they’ve been sexually assaulted! And as her students get raped and assaulted, the chancellor clucks about the way the kids won’t admit how often they’re being harassed.
How many MIT students get raped and/or assaulted? We don’t have the slightest idea. Nor does anyone seem engaged in an attempt to find out.
To appearances, we’re trying to generate pleasing statistics—the kind we can cluck and worry about at our cocktail parties.
Increasingly, this is the way our liberal elites pretend to do politics. We then wonder why those Iowa rubes won’t vote in the ways we demand.
Links to MIT documents: To peruse the survey, just click here.
To examine MIT's report, you can just click this.