UCC Needs to Improve its Statistics Courses

It's non stop rape at UCC, or at least that's what feminist mouthpiece Sean O'Riordan seems to believe if his article in the Irish Examiner is anything to go by.

Around a third of students at UCC also said they had experienced minor sexual assaults.

That is according to a voluntary survey which was distributed across campus and completed by 333 students, two-thirds of whom are women.

Around 15% of respondents said they had been raped or sexually assaulted, while 33% said they had been victims of less serious assaults, including other students “grinding up against them in a sexual manner”.

Fifteen percent you say? That seems more like something you'd attribute to tropical warzones rather than the leafy aisles of University College Cork. And yet with a population of 18,000 students, fifteen percent comes to two thousand seven hundred, or seven students being raped a day, probably more like ten assuming they aren't being raped on their holidays as well, so yes, thousands.

These numbers were arrived at by a group within UCC calling themselves Know Offence, headed by a final year law student, Lucy Jones, who feels the figures might be a bit on the low side. They constructed and distributed a carefully designed cross-sectional survey using the latest methodologies, controlling for outside factors while providing exhaustive mutually exclusive response options worthy of the finest research group.

No, wait, they just slapped up a few publicly accessible multiple choice questions on Survey Monkey, linked from their publicly accessible facebook page.


Of course, it's not impossible that these sexual assault survey results were influenced by the deplorable situation in tropical warzones as there's absolutely nothing stopping someone from those countries or anywhere else from voting in the public UCC survey.

In fact, we've taken the survey ourselves.

And that's before we even begin to consider what is meant by "consent", not to mention the vast ambiguity of "unwanted physical contact" - is jostling in a queue considered sexual assault now?

That nationally published newspapers and prestigious third level universities like UCC would want their names associated with such a transparently gameable survey, lacking any methodology or underlying reliability, defies belief.

Feminists in US universities have also attempted - with some success - to raise moral panics regarding rape in third level institutions using dubious statistics, leading to widespread abuses and young mens lives being destroyed by arbitrary kangaroo courts composed of untrained university staff. The statistics they lean upon to justify such measures are comprehensively debunked by Christina Hoff Sommers in Time Magazine.

The one-in-five number is derived from surveys where biased samples of respondents are asked an artful combination of straightforward and leading questions, reminiscent of the conclusory interviews behind the daycare agitation. A much-cited CDC study, for example, first tells respondents: “Please remember that even if someone uses alcohol or drugs, what happens to them is not their fault.” Then it asks: “When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people ever had vaginal sex with you.” (Emphasis mine.) The CDC counted all such sexual encounters as rapes.

Reputable studies suggest that approximately one-in-forty college women are victims of rape or sexual assault (assault includes verbal threats as well as unwanted sexual grabbing and fondling). One-in-forty is still too many women. But it hardly constitutes a “rape culture” requiring White House intervention.

Although we'd rather not see that brand of insanity spread from across the water, in honour of the fine academic tradition UCC has begun we've endeavored to ascertain the realities surrounding so-called cultural myths in the form of Santa Claus.

Our survey can be found here using the same methodologies as the Know Offence survey and we trust it will be greeted with the same seriousness as the Know Offence findings were accorded, not to mention getting airtime across the country as it joins the national conversation.

Meanwhile the reality that the womens studies department in UCC doesn't want you to know about looks a bit like this.

Earlier this week a second year Drama and Theatre Studies class in UCC conducted a social experiment and sent two seemingly drunk girls around campus to see how they would be treated.

Were they leered at? Hit on? Made to feel unsafe?

Of course not.

Instead, they were met with considerate and worried young men who tried to keep them safe and return them to their friends and family.

Their mammies should be very proud!

One of the women involved in the experiment expressed her gratitude to some of those she encountered.

"Sincere apologies to the guy in the Main Rest whose water I stole and thanks to the guy who let me use his phone," she wrote on Facebook.

The class sent their findings to the 'Spotted in UCC' Facebook page, a lighthearted page which highlights funny or unusual behaviour around UCC.

"To anyone standing outside the library today who witnessed [or] interacted with a "drunk" girl and another "drunk" girl in the main rest today at about 3ish, they were social experiments by a group in second year Drama & Theatre Studies to observe people's reactions to different situations.

"We were pleasantly surprised with most reactions especially the group of guys outside the library who showed a lot of concern for the girl & even asked her if she wanted them to contact her friends or family.

"Faith in humanity restored!"

Indeed, shame about our faith in universities and newspapers though.

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