Statistics misleading


I have always said, "I believe I am right until I am shown otherwise." Well, I was shown wrong today. My probabilities were skewed, and I wish to thank both Eric Schorvitz and Jeff Saruwatari for pointing that out. However, I believe that my argument is still valid.

Granting that 40 percent is a more accurate depiction of the number of women who will be sexually assaulted (during the five-year period, according to the statistics), a university with approximately 15,000 female students would have about 6,000 sexual assault victims. Furthermore, there would have to be a great number of repeat victims. While my numbers were wrong as to how many victims there would be, the number of sexual assaults would be the simple addition of all sexual assaults over a five-year period. One-sixth of 15,000 is 2,500. Multiply that by five years and you will see that there are 12,500 sexual assaults in any given five-year period. Again, this is based solely on the statistics provided.

12,500 sexual assaults with 6,000 victims over a five-year period. Sorry, I can't believe it. I can't believe that for every five women I see on campus approximately two have been sexually assaulted.

Again, let me make my point clear. I am not against creating an awareness of this problem. As I said before, one sexual assault is too many. However, using misleading statistics to scare people is wrong. It only creates anger and distrust between the sexes, and this is not necessary!

Steven Weeks

Political Science Senior

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