Correction: September 14, 2017
An earlier version of this review referred incorrectly to Vanessa Grigoriadis’s reporting for her book. She did in fact write about Department of Justice statistics that say college-age women are less likely than nonstudent women of the same age to be victims of sexual assault; it is not the case that Grigoriadis was unaware of the department’s findings. In addition, the review described incorrectly Grigoriadis’s presentation of statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. She showed that there is disagreement over whether the data are sound; it is not the case that she gave the reader “no reason to believe” they are wrong.
I must defend myself against the charge that I do not “reckon” with the Department of Justice survey. The new line, “I’m not sure how anyone could write an entire book about campus rape and not reckon with this” is false. If portions of the review are being rewritten, this should be entirely removed.Why? I do indeed reckon with this survey, and deeply, several times in the book. I will point out one of these passages here. My book includes a lengthy interview that I conducted with Callie Rennison, the foremost expert on this topic and a former Senior Researcher at the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. Rennison authored a Times op-ed about the DOJ figures in the survey in question (it’s called the National Crime Victimization Survey), found here.
The correction turns entirely on the word “know.” Grigoriadis says that when it comes to rape, “the risk is college itself.” That’s not true; according to the Rape, Incest and Abuse National Network, “Female college-aged students (18-24) are 20% less likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.” I haven’t seen anyone, in Grigoriadis’s book or elsewhere, cite figures suggesting that college students are raped at higher rates than non-college students.I made a serious, mortifying mistake in writing that I can’t believe Grigoriadis didn’t “know” about these figures. I’d give a kidney and five years of my life to be able to go back and not write that line. However, if I’d written “I can’t believe the author got this wrong,” I’d have been fine. Because although Grigoriadis doesn’t mention RAINN’s figure, she quotes a scholar on page 115 who cites the underlying DOJ numbers. (That scholar is presented as a dissenter from the consensus on campus rape.) Hence, Grigoriadis knew about them, she just ignored them in framing her book. Two things are true here. I f[–––]ed up, gravely. And one of the book’s central contentions about its subject is wrong.
My assertion is that RESIDENTIAL colleges have the high risk. Did you read pages 112-117? I suggest you do so now.— Vanessa Grigoriadis (@vanessagrigor) September 17, 2017