The new panic: campus sex assaults

The latest national hysteria over campus sexual assault combines aspects of its predecessors: the salacious outrage that characterized the daycare sex panic and the dubious federal stamp of approval that made McCarthyism’s excesses so dangerous. Spectacular — but widely disputed — statistics are touted: 1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted in college, 1 in 3 male students is a potential rapist. The rhetoric popularized by mattress protests and awareness documentaries is a simple one: “Believe the accuser!”

By Harvey Silverglate Boston Globe


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