UVA Rape Story Retracted: Has It Happened Before?

UVA (Brohammas)

UVA (Brohammas)

Last week, “Rolling Stone” released an investigative report on its now-infamous piece “A Rape on Campus.” The report, produced jointly with the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, delved into fact-checking the narrative. Ultimately, the investigation found many fact-checking and methodology errors (overall termed a “systematic failing”), and “Rolling Stone” retracted the piece.

I was interested to see if any other investigative journalism pieces, specifically on rape cases, had been retracted at any time. But I wasn’t able to find any. The closest things I could find were examples of victims later recanting their stories.

This has proven to be a first for the journalism world in that such an expansive feature (on such a timely, hot-button issue, no less) has been so thoroughly demolished by its fabrications. Though the story initially drew awareness to rape victims on college campuses, it ultimately ended up casting more negative light on the publication and journalist who covered it. Let’s hope that future journalists covering sexual assault stories will be scared into performing their due diligence to get all the facts right.

 

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Trojan 2014 Sexual Health Report Card: By The Numbers

Trojan 2014 Sexual Health Report Card (via Twitter)

Trojan 2014 Sexual Health Report Card (via Twitter)

Earlier this year, Trojan (the condom brand, duh) released its 2014 Sexual Health Report Card. Now in its ninth year, the Report Card measures sexual health resources for 140 colleges selected from the Bowl Championship Series. Scoring categories include student health centers’ access to quality information, STI and HIV testing and condom and contraceptive availability, among other points.

This year, PAC-12 school Oregon State wrested the #1 spot from Princeton University. As the Report Card notes, the top spot has typically vacillated between the Ivy League and the Big Ten. The PAC-12 also took spots #4 (University of Arizona) and #5 (Stanford) in the top 10.

I wanted to see if there were any discernible patterns within the data, so I crunched some numbers and played with some pivot tables.

By College Conference:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: College Conferences

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: College Conferences

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) took the top spot for conferences with 15 entries, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) came in tied second with the Big Ten with 14 entries each. The Mid-American and PAC-12 conferences each have 12. Conference USA boasts 11 schools, and the American, Big 12 and Mountain West schools each have 10 schools.

The ACC, SEC and Ivy League all had each of its schools place within the rankings.

 

By School Type:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: School Type

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: School Type

Over 76% of ranked schools were public schools, and 22% of schools were private. Ivies comprised over 25% of private schools listed.

Virginia Tech was categorized as public and military, and University of Pittsburgh was public and private.

 

By State:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: States

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: States

Texas boasts 11 schools ranked, while Ohio has eight schools for second place. California and Florida tie with seven schools each. Louisiana has six, and Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York and North Carolina each have five schools represented.

On the other end of the scale, several states are one-hit wonders: Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Washington D.C., and Wyoming.

By Region:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: Region

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: Region

Here’s something interesting: The South makes up 42%+ of the report’s regional breakdown. I didn’t expect that considering the region’s traditionally rocky relationship with sex education.

By contrast, the Northeast comprises only 14%+.

 

Past Winners:

In the report card’s nine years of age, Ivy League schools have taken the crown four times: Yale (2006, inaugural year), Columbia (2010 and 2011), and Princeton (2013).

Columbia and Princeton have previously topped the list despite not having school-wide Sex Weeks.

Some previous winners have precipitously descended the list since their banner year. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities made #1 in 2007, but has since slid to #24, a rate of 2.8+ spots per year. University of South Carolina-Columbia topped the list in 2009, and is now 29, sliding down the list at a much faster 5+ spots a year. Yale descended to #44 this year, sliding the fastest at 5.3+ spots per year.

 

Interesting Outliers:

Despite Trojan’s claim to show schools from all 50 states in their report, Alaska is conspicuously absent.

Only one HBCU (historically black college or university) made the cut: Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia. The school came in at #133. Savannah State has made the list before, ranking #134 in 2013.

Indiana University-Bloomington checks in at #36. This wouldn’t be weird except the university houses the Kinsey Institute. You’d think sexual health would be a priority considering it’s apparently lucrative research.

 

Methodology:

Trojan outlined the criteria they look for within the report (and even leave room for extra credit), and they’ve ranked schools on a 4.0 scale before. I’d like to learn more transparency about how the different factors were selected and weighted in terms of priority.

One weird thing was that the University of Alabama was listed twice, ranked both #30 and #120. This was confusing and will need to be corrected for future report cards.

 

Final Thoughts:

I’d love to see more diversity of school represented. It’d be great to see other HBCUs (Spelman, Morehouse, etc.) and art schools (Pratt Institute, RISD, etc.). The National Center for Education Statistics puts the number of four-year colleges at 2.8K+ (as of 2010-2011), and it’d be fantastic to see a wider swath of schools surveyed.

 

 

Ivy League Sex Weeks: By The Numbers

Ivy League university crests

Ivy League university crests

“Russia Today” recently reported that Ivy League university Harvard would offer a class on anal sex during their upcoming annual Sex Week. This isn’t the first time the class has been offered; that back in Fall 2012. Harvard’s Sex Week focuses on providing comprehensive sex education to students with a sex-positive outlook and shedding light on aspects that might not be ordinarily covered.

Yale holds the most famous Sex Week, which began in 2002 and was coordinated at the time by students Eric Rubenstein and Jacqueline Farber. But the program has now spread to other schools.

As the program takes root at other schools, let’s take a look at other Ivy League Sex Weeks:

Brown University: 

Site: Sextion: ***Sex Week 2014 (related article)

Started: N/A

Coordinated by: Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council (SHEEC)

Most Recent Sex Week: Mar. 31-Apr. 6, 2014

Notable Classes: “Dirty Talk,” “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure” (2013)

Notable Guests: sex educator Charlie Glickman, activist Katee Stewart (2013)

Awards: N/A

 

Columbia University:

N/A

Columbia doesn’t have a Sex Week.

 

Cornell University:

Site: Cornell Sex Week Facebook page

Started: 2014

Coordinated by: Sex Week committee

Most Recent Sex Week: Mar. 7-19, 2014

Frequency: N/A

Notable Classes: “Combating Stigma: A Panel Discussion on HIV/AIDS,” “Introduction to Kink (with Pictures)” (2014)

Notable Guests: feminist sex writer Susie Bright, activist Urvashi Vaid (2014)

Awards: N/A

 

Dartmouth College:

N/A

Dartmouth doesn’t have a Sex Week.

 

Harvard University: 

Site: Sex Week at Harvard

Started: 2010

Coordinated by: Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College (SHEATH)

Most Recent Sex Week: Nov. 2-8, 2014

Frequency: Held twice every school year, once during each fall and spring semester

Notable Classes: “Love, Sex and Faith,” “Sexing the Body in Art and Media,” “#FutureSex: How technology will change your sex life” (Fall 2013)

Notable Guests: filmmaker Therese Schechter (Spring 2013), sexologist Jill McDeavitt (Fall 2012)

Awards: N/A

 

Princeton University:

N/A

Awards: Despite the fact that the school doesn’t have its own Sex Week, Princeton took top honors in Trojan’s Sexual Health Report Card in 2013.

 

University of Pennsylvania:

Site: Upenn Sex Week | All about sex

Started: 2013

Coordinated by: N/A

Most Recent Sex Week: Apr. 2-6, 2013

Frequency: N/A

Notable Classes: Erotica writing, “Asexuality 101” (Spring 2013)

Notable Guests: Cindy Gallop, “Make Love Not Porn” (Spring 2013)

Awards: N/A

 

Yale University:

Site: N/A

Started: 2002

Coordinated by: Sex Week committee

Most Recent Sex Week: 2014

Frequency: Held every other year in February on the week running up to Valentine’s Day

Notable Classes: “Fornication 101 with Oh Megan!,” “BDSM and Alternative Sexualities”

Notable Guests: porn director Steven Hirsch, porn star Sasha Grey

Awards: 2004 Collegiate Network Campus Outrage Award, First Place; 2006 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, First Place and only school with a perfect score