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Setting the Record Straight on ‘1-in-5’

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TIME

If you’ve followed the discussion about sexual assault on college campuses in America, it’s likely you’ve heard some variation of the claim that 1-in-5 women on college campuses in the United States has been sexually assaulted or raped. Or you may have heard the even more incorrectly abbreviated version, that 1-in-5 women on campus have been raped.

As two of the researchers who conducted the Campus Sexual Assault Study from which this number was derived, we feel we need to set the record straight. Although we used the best methodology available to us at the time, there are caveats that make it inappropriate to use the “1-in-5” number as a baseline or the only statistics when discussing our country’s problem with rape and sexual assault on campus in the way it’s being used today.

First and foremost, the 1-in-5 statistic is not a nationally representative estimate of the prevalence…

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