My name is Francis. This is my blog. If you can’t figure out how to email me, I’m not sure we have much to discuss.

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  1. Hi,

    I’m a fan of your blogging/tweeting. I assume (or hope) you’ll be looking at the new study (Carey et al., “Incapacitated and Forcible Rape of College Women: Prevalence Across the First Year”*) that’s getting a lot of press today. I wanted to draw your attention to another recent study,** by two of the same authors, that seems to have been derived from the same 483-freshman data set. I’ve read both studies and I’m not sure I understand how the survey methods and results differ.

    The “hookups” study asked respondents about “severe” sexual contact (roughly corresponding to legal definitions of rape) that “happened ‘when you indicated that you didn’t want to’ ” (p. 6), and refers to that as “sexual victimization.” 25% of respondents indicated that they had been a victim of SV prior to college, while 14% went on to report an SV incident at some point between Sept 1 and Dec 31 of their freshman year (at least that’s how I read it, maybe I’m wrong). The rape study, on the other hand, says that 28% of respondents reported having been the victim of either attempted or completed forcible or incapacitated rape prior to college, and 11.4% more were victims of attempted or completed forcible or incapacitated rape during the fall semester.

    I don’t feel confident in my own ability to assess this data, so I was hoping you would. Is it surprising (or significant) that more respondents reported pre-college rape (including attempted and completed rapes of both “tactics”) than sexual victimization? Is it likely that “when you indicated that you didn’t want to” was used as a question/prompt for the rape statistics, as well as sexual victimization? (That would seem to me be the wrong type of question to ask for incapacitated rape, which the authors report is far more common.) What do you make of the “perpetrator tactic” “overwhelm you with arguments or continual pressure for sex”? What about the authors’ apparent classification of “try to have sexual intercourse, but it did not happen” as an attempted rape?

    Well, that completes my thoughts. I hope you’ll be able to provide some commentary on this study, as I’m sure it will receive a lot of attention and be the subject of much dispute. -Ben

    *preprint available, as of now, at – if this link goes down I can email you a copy

    ** Fielder et al., “Sexual Hookups and Adverse Health Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study of First-Year College Women,” available at

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