Right Hooks

The Myth of the One-in-Five Statistic Grows

Feb. 10, 2015

As Mark Twain observed, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Barack Obama dished out all of it in a PSA about sexual violence that ran during the Grammy Awards. He claimed, “Right now, nearly one in five women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape. And more than one in four women has experienced some form of domestic violence.” The lie works because it’s repeated – often. So for the viewers who just wanted to witness Sam Smith sweeping Grammy win after Grammy win, the statistic sounded true. Last summer, commentator George Will questioned the one-in-five statistic of rape on college campuses, arguing it was so inflated and didn’t make any logical sense that it was only good as government propaganda. Furthermore, Washington Examiner commentator Ashe Schow notes that Obama not only repeated a suspect statistic, but he stretched the truth even further. The statistic was traditionally used by progressives to talk about rape on college campuses. But then Obama went and applied it to all women in the United States. After all, he’s got a “war on women” to maintain. More…

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