Three Hundred Percent

One of my old Iraq comrades used to be a big fan of a play called "Avenue Q." It was a kind of parody of Sesame Street. This was his favorite song:



I was thinking about this because of a headline I saw that suggests that 'Every man's a little bit rapist.'

To say that a frat boy is 300% more likely than other men on campus to rape a woman is to say that your control group is at least a little bit likely to rape a woman. After all, if a frat boy is 300% more likely than I am to rape a woman -- or even if he were three hundred times more likely -- nevertheless there's no problem. Zero multiplied by anything yields zero, which is the appropriate number of rapes.

It's only if any given man in the control group can be assigned a 'little rapist' factor that you can get the multiple to work. So, in pushing these numbers, we really need to conceptualize every man in college as having at least some rapist in his constitution.

How much? Well, according to the study you can read if you track back a couple of links, the figure for frat boys who admitted to rape or attempted rape is nine percent. Now one way of expressing that is that 91% of frat boys are not rapists. That means that 97% of the general population of college men are not rapists. That's a pretty substantial percentage. We may not be all the way to where we want to be, but we've still established that the overwhelming majority of these men don't commit rape.

But if we express it the way the headline expresses it, we can condemn all frat boys -- including the 91% who haven't raped anyone -- for being more rapist than the general population of men. By the same logic, we can condemn the whole population of college men -- 97% non-rapist -- as being part of a group that includes a statistical number of rapists.

Alternatively, you could say that your 97% of college men who never rape women are the norm. Then, of course, you can't make a statistical claim about how much more likely frat boys are to rape than normal college men -- presumably you would have to say that they are infinitely more likely to do so!

Fun with statistics. But there's a serious consequence to the way we end up conceptualizing college. Is it a place of tremendous sexual danger, with college men who are as a class statistically likely to rape young women? Or is it a place where, actually, almost every man you meet is the kind of man who doesn't rape? A lot hangs on that answer.

19 comments:

Ymar Sakar said...

The Left needs colleges to be rape villes the same way Islamic jihad and Leftists in Rotter needed to work together to create a slave trade. The Slave Empire requires connections to work.

And for Democrats in the US, using their Authority to brow beat women into submission by generating the threats they will protect them from is standard fare. After all, it worked for poor blacks in cities. And Lincoln was a Democrat, 50+% of native American blacks think.

Ymar Sakar said...

The Leftist alliance will never allow independently run dorms or bottom up gender separated dorms. Gender as in male and female. That will cut down on the problem, which is the problem for them. If you cut down the problem, you remove the risk, and with no risk, people start disobeying the Authorities. The real ones.

Guns, guards, or police on campus might deter some issues for some people, but the Leftist alliance also doesn't like that issue for some reason.

Personal protection and training of women would provide emergency fail safes but Democrats like Biden talk about shooting your shotgun in the air and various other vomiting tricks for defense. Do they really believe that works or do they just pretend to believe that.

battleblue1 said...

Nice song!

Cass said...

I hate to break it to you, but in the aggregate, the group of "not frat boys on campus" *is* at least a little likely to rape someone.

We know this, because the number of rapes by non-frat boys isn't zero.

The mistake you're making is in trying to apply aggregate statistical probabilities to individuals.

At any rate, what statistics tell you is that college is the kind of place where the vast majority of men you meet are *not* likely to be rapists. There's no other reasonable interpretation of the stats.

Cass said...

Oh, and the 3 times as likely stat tells you that, if you know absolutely nothing about a college boy other than he is or is not frat boy, you don't need to be very worried at all that he will rape you.

But you should be very slightly more worried if he's a frat boy than if he's not.

Texan99 said...

I wouldn't presume to judge any individual frat boy by the percentages, but if the percentages are markedly different in one group than in another, we might reasonable look at the culture and what kind of behavior it tends to overlook, condone, or even encourage slightly.

Cass said...

I wouldn't presume to judge an individual by aggregate group behavior *if* I were dealing with that person as an individual (in which case I have the opportunity to get to know him or her, and thus don't need stereotypes).

But if I'm doing a quick threat assessment, there is absolutely no way I'm going to assume that a 98 year old great-grandmother who asks to use my phone is as likely to be a potential rapist (or is trying to pick me up) as a young man. Sure, she could be an aggressive lesbian serial rapist, but it's just not as likely statistically.

I would hope that I would treat both the same, but that some rudimentary awareness of how the real world works would inform my risk calculations :p

MikeD said...

The thing I find interesting in that article (once you boil down the math) is that according to their figures, 3% of the males on campus are raping 20% of the females. And given that women outnumber men on most campuses, this seems to imply each rapist is raping nearly seven women on average. I believe in most cases, that would qualify as a "serial rapist". Don't you think that if that were the case, it might draw a bit more attention, from the local press if nothing else?

Grim said...

The mistake you're making is in trying to apply aggregate statistical probabilities to individuals.

It's not a mistake. I'm aware of how the statistics work. It's accurate to describe them this way, just as it's accurate to say that frat boys are infinitely more likely to rape than another group whose number-of-rapes is zero -- say a group drawn exclusively from the 97% who don't.

Even accurate statistics often lead us to conclusions that are bad, and here's a good case. Do you live in a world full of potential rapists? Or do you live in a world almost exclusively populated by non-rapists?

I think this is the basic mistake being made in the campus debate right now. It's not that the statistics are wrong; it's that the view of the world they imply is wrong, even though the statistics might be right. And that comes from thinking of people as mathematical objects, rather than as the individual human beings they are. As a member of a group, you could assign a person a percentage chance of being a rapist; but in their heart, they either are or they are not.

...if the percentages are markedly different in one group than in another, we might reasonable look at the culture and what kind of behavior...

We might. But there's another hidden implication there which is suspect. Is the culture bringing out the inner rapist hidden in men? Or is it just a place where men who are already rapists self-select to gather?

Texan99 said...

"Is the culture bringing out the inner rapist hidden in men? Or is it just a place where men who are already rapists self-select to gather?"

For me those are roughly equivalent phenomena in terms of assessing risk, and possibly mutually reinforcing. The point is that the statistics make me wonder what's rotten in that culture.

I haven't any experience with frat culture; they were outlawed by charter at my university, whose founder was suspicious of them. Instead, there were residential colleges that served as a kind of club identity, which he preferred because of the random assignment of incoming freshmen. I don't imagine he was worried about rape culture, but he did apparently dislike the high-society or cliquish aspect of fraternities.

Grim said...

The more discrete and impersonal the question, the more useful the math. "How safe is it to go to tonight's party?" is a question to which statistics might provide a useful answer.

It ties in to the logical/analogical problem I was discussing with Tom not long ago. These statistics don't tell us anything about any person from whom they are drawn (which is what Cass was saying). In order to talk about them at all, we have to create a group that is a completely inaccurate description of the world -- because the actual objects in the world are not members of the group, but individuals with individual properties. The group doesn't exist in an ontological sense.

So if you take the properties you find in this group and try to apply them to the members from which you constructed it, you'll be wrong every time. Indeed, you'd be wrong even in risk assessment to think about your frat boy, "This boy has a 91% chance of not being a rapist." In fact, he has a 100% chance of either being or not being a rapist. You could get a false sense of security from the same statistics.

Texan99 said...

I don't look at it that way. 10% is not much of a risk to take in going to a party, particularly if I'm not planning to make myself helpless to anyone there. But if the student body risk is 5% and the frat risk is 10%, I'm likely to reach a quick conclusion that I'm not interested in getting more involved with the frat culture. Even the 90% who aren't rapists are a little too complacent about the problem in their culture; why do they tolerate an above-average incidence of rapists in the first place? I'd prefer to put my efforts elsewhere, because the odds are good we're not going to get along.

The whole time I was in school, I never heard a single report of a woman who felt she was forced, subtly or otherwise--except for one acquaintance who was killed by her attacker (apparently not a student) in a parking lot. My school culture was decidedly non-rapist. It's not like there were 10% rapists hanging around on the edges, but the others thought they were pretty good guys in most other respects and tolerated them. The phenomenon was simply unheard-of. And we had co-ed dorms.

I'm using "rapist" here in the peculiar modern college sense of "guys who were somewhat insensitive to messages of discomfort or confusion or drunken insensibility coming from their potential sexual partners." Obviously I'd be very skeptical of statistics showing that 10% of any group of men outside a prison were out-and-out rapists of the sort who ought to be shot on sight.

Grim said...

Well, that's one problem with the debate -- we're all using that language now, because that's how the studies have chosen to track it.

I've never been to a frat party myself, out of a different but not dissimilar expectation about the nature of the culture. I don't really want anything to do with them. The culture strikes me as somewhat odious all the way around.

Cass said...

Even accurate statistics often lead us to conclusions that are bad, and here's a good case. Do you live in a world full of potential rapists? Or do you live in a world almost exclusively populated by non-rapists?

If you interpret the stats correctly, you live in a world populated mostly by non-rapists. It's a misuse of statistics to do what you are describing - like using a hammer to try to screw in a wood screw.

The problem isn't the tool - it's people who don't use the tool correctly.

Ymar Sakar said...

Studies currently assign false rape and "got drunk, had sex, didn't like the aftermath afterwards" as being rape.

Case in point, the US Naval Academy, if that is what it is called, exiles or cuts off the status of males involved in drunken sex, but the females involved continue on to graduate and be commissioned. Even though technically that rule should have been applied to both parties, given their mutually involved behavior.

That's not the issue on college campuses, it's just the massaging of the data by propaganda for the real goal. By pre programming and triggering post traumatic stress on the part of women, they can separate vulnerable girls from their boyfriends, and have the girls accuse their boyfriends of rape. It's even easier to do in more casual relationships. This can all be done non judicially, without involving the police, in order for the campus Leftists to control things without official rules or sanction.

Why they do this is obvious. Why women agree to participate in this is less obvious.

Cass said...

I agree with Ymar on the Naval Academy, though having been stationed there for the longest 3 years of my adult life, I also think they have a legitimate problem and too often cover up gross misbehavior, especially by members of the football team.

Still, rules are rules and claiming you were too drunk to consent is essentially claiming you were breaking the rules big time :p Not that this would excuse actual rape, but if you say you were too drunk to consent then you're probably also too drunk to give credible testimony as to what happened.

Grim said...

It's a misuse of statistics to do what you are describing - like using a hammer to try to screw in a wood screw.

It's a fallacy in the strict sense of a logical error. But it's the way people do in fact often think: they mistake the logical object for the things that really exist.

So in this way we can easily, for propaganda purposes, tar an individual we don't like by including him in a group that has a high incidence of bad behavior. "Clarence Thomas shouldn't be trusted; he comes from a demographic whose incidence of all forms of crime is far higher than average, and which accounts for 52.5% of homicides in spite of being only around twelve percent of the population."

We could post an even higher percentage if we limited his demographic to 'black men' instead of 'blacks.' On the other hand, we could paint him as less dangerous by breaking 'blacks' out by age: I don't have the statistics in front of me, but I'd wager heavily that black men of his age commit almost no murders.

It's this mistake that makes it sound like "we need to ban fraternities" is a reasonable proposal. What you really need to do is empower the 91% of guys in the fraternity who are doing the right thing.

By the way, the actual study (if you follow it back) was a study that shows that education programs aimed at teaching frat boys the parameters of what constitutes sexual assault or rape appears to produce a significant reduction in assault/rape. So the problem comes, as it were, with a solution baked into the study that found the disparity. But the journalist mined the study for the shocking statistic, ignored outright the solution, and penned a piece calling for the outright destruction of all fraternities nationwide.

Ymar Sakar said...

What you really need to do is empower the 91% of guys in the fraternity who are doing the right thing.

Correct. In Japan, student councils police their own, sometimes to ridiculous extents but the intent is to have students police and punish students. Instead of begging for the school teachers and authorities to fix every problem, like some babies do.

When you beg government or authorities to fix your problem, then don't complain when they put a shackle on your neck and convert you into livestock.

People who are dependent, not independent, have no rights in the eyes of human power and hierarchy. You're not their equal, by self admitted confession and evidence, so they won't treat you as an equal.

Ymar Sakar said...

I also think they have a legitimate problem and too often cover up gross misbehavior, especially by members of the football team.

One leads to the other. Instead of just having one legitimate problem, they have another problem helping to cause the legitimate problem. So it's not that rapists are in charge and with authority, it's that the authority is the problem and is the one causing the other problem to go unfixed.

Generally implies a loss of chain of command authorities. The females answer to a different chain of command, superseding the normal cadets and admiral officers. I call that the Left, but even without it, preferential treatment generally comes from the top. Not from the bottom, where the powerless wretches reside.

They started with American culture and school life, by banning bullying using Zero Tolerance. That was just a way to give bullies the verbal guarantee and protection they needed to shift from physical violence to verbal harassment and violence. Conveniently, this also banned all the knight errants, mercenaries, and protectors who specialized in beating bullies and gaining xp points that way. Also gained fame.

So instead of one man or woman, gathering a group of subordinates around them, and enforcing law and order that way, now you have bullies protected from these people by the administration's Zero Policy punishments. The bully can attack you, and both of you get suspended or expelled. That might mess up your life, but since the bully is going to federal prison for rape, murder, and burglary, they don't really care about messing up their life. They know they have the power to mess you up, the administration said so.

This cultural template was reinforced for black and Islamic groups. Then for football and sports teams, instead of allowing coaches to exercise authority via distributing alcohol and other goodies, they banned this and then started to promote the distribution of sexual resources. Under the table. Why? Shrugs.

So essentially every small team leader that could have disciplined these disparate groups, were destroyed or supplanted by the Left. In time, people started realizing that they were out of control, so they blamed this group, then this other group, all the way, ignoring the real cause.