Critic: CDC Sexual Violence Survey Exaggerated the Problem


Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute is questioning the new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which estimated that more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”

Sommers, writing in the Washington Post notes, that the CDC data “are wildly at odds with official crime statistics,” sand accuses the agency of “defining sexual violence in impossibly elastic ways and then letting the surveyors, rather than subjects, determine what counted as an assault.” An example offered by Sommers: Participants were asked if they had ever had sex because someone pressured them by “telling you lies, making promises about the future they knew were untrue?” All affirmative answers were counted as “sexual violence.”

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