The misguided crusade against campus Greek life | FACTUAL FEMINIST

Over the past year, “ban fraternities” has become a battle cry for gender activists who want to eradicate male privilege and reduce rates of campus rape. But will banning fraternities solve the problem? AEI Senior Research Associate Caroline Kitchens takes a look at the research and explores the misguided crusade against campus Greek life.

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After Rolling Stone published its infamous story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, UVA’s president responded by suspending all Greek activities on the campus. After the story started to unravel, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit asked an important question: “Will UVA President Teresa Sullivan apologize for her evidence-free collective punishment of the entire Greek system?” Well, President Sullivan has not apologized, (but she has lifted the suspension) and she is not alone in suggesting that fraternities as a whole should be punished for perpetuating a toxic, patriarchal rape culture. Some columnists say we need to ban fraternities altogether, because statistics supposedly show that men who join fraternities are 300% more likely to rape than their classmates who do not. Is that really true? The source is a study in a student affairs journal that was designed to test the effectiveness of a sexual violence education program called “The Men’s Program,” created by John Foubert. Well, Foubert is also the lead author of the study itself. This is classic advocacy research. Foubert and his colleagues asked first-year men at one university to fill out a questionnaire on sexual aggression at the beginning of the school year and again at the end. The survey wasn’t designed to give an accurate estimate of criminal sexual assault. Rather it measures broadly defined “sexual coercion,” so the men were asked about a range of behaviors including unwanted groping, kissing or having a sexual encounter with someone through “verbal pressure” or by making false promises about the future. The authors concluded that 8% of fraternity men vs. 2.5% of non-fraternity men admitted to committing these types of “sexually coercive acts.” Foubert then twisted these findings in the media (need quote) to claim that somehow this is proof that fraternity men rape three times more often. Look, I don’t doubt that fraternity houses can be hazardous places for women. The link between alcohol and sexual assault is undeniable, and fraternities are often the center of the binge-drinking social scene. But it’s one thing to punish specific members or even chapters for incidents, and it’s another thing to condemn all of Greek life nationwide. If you’re going to say that fraternity culture as a whole is so dangerous that we must disband all of them—even chapters with spotless reputations—you’d better be sure that your evidence is solid. Here, it’s just not. If fraternities really are hotbeds of rape culture, simply dissolving the groups is a pretty shortsighted fix to such a serious problem. And when critics of Greek culture vilify all fraternity men as potential rapists, they also infantilize women—by regarding sorority women not as empowered decision-makers but as victims who allow predatory frat guys to objectify them. Here’s my message to the anti-Greek crusaders: respect Greek men and women as individuals. They are not just pawns in some mythical, misogynistic frat culture. They are adults who should be granted the freedom to associate with whomever they choose. And if you believe that we should punish innocent people based on unproven stereotypes that you hold against their group, you might not be a voice for equality and social justice after all. Do you think it’s unfair that fraternities are under attack? Are they worth defending? Let me know what you think in the comments section or on twitter. Thank you for watching the Factual Feminist.

The misguided crusade against campus Greek life

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