Thursday, September 10, 2009

On Gregory and Lisak

Duke Women’s Center director Ada Gregory came under justifiable criticism for her preposterous recent assertion to the Chronicle: “The higher IQ, the more manipulative they are, the more cunning they are . . . imagine the sex offenders we have here at Duke—cream of the crop.” Gregory subsequently claimed that she had been quoted out of context, though it’s hard to imagine what an appropriate context for her remark could have been.

In the event, as I noted last week, she essentially repeated her claim in her damage-control letter to the Chronicle, writing, “The difficulty in detecting and investigating sexual assault cases, particularly acquaintance rapes, which are often committed by undetected rapists who use manipulation and coercion, has been shown by the research of David Lisak, a University of Massachusetts at Boston clinical psychologist, and others. The investigations of these crimes can be further complicated by offenders who may also be categorized as antisocial or sociopathic, who are of above-average intelligence and can be highly manipulative and coercive, not only with victims but in the investigation process. Universities gather a lot of people with above average intelligence, so it stands to reason that campuses might see more of these kinds of individuals than the general population.” [emphasis added]

Gregory—like the “clarifying” faculty at Duke, who made a similar, if slightly vaguer, claim—doubtless has ideological reasons for wanting to believe that sexual assault is more common at elite university campuses than in the general public. Yet a preliminary glance through some of Lisak’s writings didn’t offer any illumination concerning the alleged link between communities of intelligent people and higher incidences of sexual assault. While there certainly are elements of campus life an elite universities—notably the extensive presence of alcohol—that would increase the risk of sexual assault (and which Lisak discusses), that, of course, was not the argument that Gregory made.

I e-mailed Gregory to ask her for a specific citation of Lisak’s work that bolstered her assertion that “universities gather a lot of people with above average intelligence, so it stands to reason that campuses might see more of these kinds of individuals than the general population.” She did not reply. So I e-mailed her again. Again, she did not reply.

So I read some more of Lisak’s publications. (I should note: I haven’t read everything that Lisak has published: CUNY doesn’t have a medical school, and some of his work comes in technical journals to which CUNY doesn’t subscribe.) Nonetheless, I haven’t been able to track down any of his writings that suggest a link between communities of smart people and higher incidents of sexual assault. At times—as in a 2005 talk—some of the themes for the “undetected rapist” that Lisak has identified would suggest that such criminals would be less common at places like Duke, simply because of practical matters. Two examples:

1.) Lisak has contended that predators are “often violent in multiple ways—(e.g., both sexual and domestic).” Yet at Duke, as at most elite university campuses, the overwhelming majority of students live in dorms or dorm-like arrangements. While it’s possible that openings exist for domestic violence, such episodes are surely far less frequent than in the general public at large, simply because most Duke students would not regularly find themselves in a position in which domestic violence occurs.

2.) Lisak’s research also suggests that nearly one in five of his undetected rapists have abused children. Obviously, college and university students do not have access to children on campus; at home, how many 18 to 22-year-old students at any elite university even are put in a position to sexually abuse children? While it’s possible that openings exist for child abuse, such episodes are surely far less frequent than in the general public at large, simply because most Duke students would not regularly find themselves in a position in which child abuse occurs.

Yet Lisak—the sole researcher that Gregory cited to bolster her claim of a linkage between bright people on campus and higher incidents of sexual assault—has contended that connections exist between child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Given that students at elite universities would seem to have been less likely to have engaged in either child abuse or domestic violence, wouldn’t it stand to reason that Lisak’s research suggests that sexual violence is less common on college campuses than in the general public?

Lisak, it’s worth noting, is hardly someone known for his temperate views on sexual assault: indeed, he is a true believer on the issue. He has contended that one in four women will be raped over the course of their lives: while not quite as extreme a view as some Group sympathizers (who have suggested that one in four women at Duke will be raped, giving the university a rate of sexual assault exceeds that of Detroit’s violent crime rate), the Lisak theory would maintain that just under 40 million women currently residing in the United States have been raped. Lisak also has endorsed the arch-feminist view that pornography (of any type) “normalizes” violence against women.

It doesn’t seem unrealistic to expect the director of a women’s center—however much she might be an ideologue regarding gender issues on campus—to accurately represent the relevant research in her field. Duke, it appears, has a different standard.


Anonymous said...

Hi KC,

I think you have the cause and effect mixed up in regards to the connection between child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Because the claim is that they are correlated, it doesn't mean that one is causing the other. If college students have less opportunity to commit child abuse or domestic assault, the rate of these behaviors is likely to be lower. However, unless you believe that abusing children and committing acts of domestic violence lead to sexual assault, which I don't think is a case that anyone is making, the change in one variable is unrelated to the change in another variable.

gwallan said...

I'm reasonably well acquainted with the issue of child sexual abuse. None of the perpetrator demographics I've seen suggest anything remotely like what Ada Gregory claims.

Somebody needs to ask Ada if she thinks more intelligent women are also more manipulative and coercive.

Anonymous said...

Ada Gregory has neglected the racial aspect of rape offenders. The USDOJ does have such records, and they're available to the public. The following is from an article reporting on the 2005 NCVS results:


"Table 42: Personal Crimes of Violence 2005: Percent distribution of single offender victimizations, based on race of victims, by type of crime and perceived race of offender."

Under "Rape/Sexual assaults" the survey reports 111,490 rape/assaults in 2005 in which a white was the victim.
The "perceived race" of the offender was reported as white in 44.5 percent of cases, black in 33.6 percent of cases, "other" in 19.6 percent of cases.

Where the victim of rape was black, in 36,620 cases, things were rather different. The "perceived race" of the offender was reported as black in 100.0 percent of cases.

-end excerpt-


By my calculation, the 2005 NCVS shows that about 50% of rape /sexual assault offenders were black males. Blacks males are roughly 6%-6.5%% of the population, if I'm not mistaken.

What say you about this glaring number, Ms. Gregory?

William L. Anderson said...

What interests me the most is that Gregory's assertion has gone unchallenged at Duke. Now, I don't know about you, but I would be terribly frightened if rapists were running wild at a college where a daughter of mine were attending.

My oldest daughter went to the University of Tennessee, and when I went there nearly 40 years ago, we had rapes that occurred near and sometimes on campus, real-live forcible rapes. When the news was made public, there were announcements on campus, women were urged not to walk alone, especially at dark, and so on.

Now, I am sure that women at Duke are told the same thing, given Duke is located in an urban setting that is well-known for violent crime, but nonetheless the Duke administration now is claiming that the campus is full of serial rapists. Think about this. Does anyone think that Duke University, when recruiting new students, tells them and their parents that Duke is overrun with rapists?

Yet, the leadership of the university is willing to swallow this nonsense without even a thought as to the real implications of statements that Gregory is making. That is an indication of just how far the Hard Left ideology has gone at Duke and at other "elite" campuses. Again, think of the implications. Duke's administration is claiming that the very thing that makes it an elite institution -- that it provides an education for very intelligent and high-achieving students -- is also what makes it most dangerous for its students.

I suppose that I am baffled at the fact that people at Duke cannot add 2 and 2. The implications of what Gregory is claiming are obvious, yet no one in a position of authority there can apply logic to what she is saying.

This is one of the strongest indications of just what the ideology of hard-left feminists and racialists has done to higher education. Duke University's administration is claiming that the student body is crawling with serial rapists, and no one -- No One -- there even can begin to understand what these people are saying about themselves.

mb said...

K.C. wrote: "It doesn’t seem unrealistic to expect the director of a women’s center—however much she might be an ideologue regarding gender issues on campus—to accurately represent the relevant research in her field. Duke, it appears, has a different standard."

With all due respect K.C., I disagree. I think that most directors of women's centers, and feminists in general, ignore valid, scientifically-sound research that doesn't support their biased worldview. Indeed, rejecting clear objective evidence in favor of rigid dogma is de rigeur for feminists, and in that sense I believe that feminism is more akin to a secular religion than anything else. Thus, I don't think that Duke's standard is any different than elsewhere in academia. In fact, Duke seems to represent the status quo quite nicely.

Debrah said...

Some interesting Duke stats and comments on the subject.

Ada Gregory and her staff of soldiers must continue to build a fantasy so funding for their positions won't dry up.

One might wish to ask a few serious questions, notwithstanding Gregory's and the Gang of 88's careers built on fabrication and lies.

The vast array of internet blogs which now exist to combat misandry fail to acknowledge the misogyny that actually does exist and has existed.

I don't need to belabor the obvious issues known to all which have made Duke University and many other universities hostile to the white male population.

The only difference today is that misandry is totally supported and celebrated by people we would normally characterize as "educated".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but even during the worst days of misogyny and servitude to men, this mistreatment and unfairness were never openly celebrated.

As unfair as conditions often were, there was not a movement to actually promote misogyny among the educated class.

We have that today with regard to misandry.

As a consequence, some men have taken to this "cause" with all the fervor of a Germaine Greer on crack.

Greer did, however, make a very astute observation in a 2008 ABC interview:

"The difficulty for me is that I believe in permanent revolution. I believe that once you change the power structure and you get an oligarchy that is trying to keep itself in power, you have all the illiberal features of the previous regime. What has to keep on happening is a constant process of criticism, renewal, protest and so forth."

So......the misogyny vs. misandry war will continue.

For a walk on the wild side of these wars, read some dialogue from this site.

Beyond the horrific abuses at Duke from the race/class/gender faction, it is still easier for an allegedly "respectable" man to throw out the word "c*nt" than it would be for a woman to call that same man a limp "d*ck".

This bizarre cultural phenomenon of double standards is very much a 21st century reality.


Women also need to admit that much of what they do, how they dress, and what they say is designed to get the attention and excite the sexual impulses of men.

It's a difficult strategy to hate men even as you desire them.

That, in the estimable opinion of the Diva, produces an enormous degree of confusion in the minds of women.

Lastly, am I the only one who finds it not only curious, but bizarre, that a photo of one Ada Gregory cannot be found?

Anonymous said...

Gregory (and Duke) should be embarrassed - she is clearly making an ecological fallacy - basically inferences about individuals (duke students) based on aggegrate data. This should not happen to people/institutions who claim to care about reserach - I expect more from my undergrads.

Anonymous said...

Hetero male Duke students should start wearing T-shirts that say:

"Cream of the Crop"

Anonymous said...

Lisak is certainly drunk on the rape culture koolaid, but Gregory is even drunker.

Debrah said...

Another Duke (former) employee in the mode of the Gang of 88.

Harrell was on the same panel with Bill Plante at the Duke conference back in March.

A good speaker, but as phony as they come.

It's obvious from this report that he's been riding on Duke University for so long that he forgot to tell everyone he's no longer "working" there.

KC Johnson said...

To the 3.14:

I seem not to have explained myself sufficiently clearly in the post; I was not suggesting a cause and effect. I was suggesting that Lisak's research seems to contradict Gregory's implication that elite college campuses have a larger number of undetected rapists than the general public as a whole.

According to Lisak's research, undetected rapists are more likely than not to be serial offenders--to have committed child abuse or domestic violence in addition to sexual assault. As I pointed out in the post, most students at elite universities are not likely to be serial offenders of this type, since their life experiences would not have placed them in a position where their engaging in domestic violence or child abuse would have been likely.

Debrah said...

I'd like to know.

Is there even one of the Gang of 88, their janissaries, and/or their mascots, who do not have a family member---(sometimes more than one in the case of Karla Holloway)---who is also on the Duke University payroll?

This is very strange to me.

I'm not accustomed to multiple members of a family working in the same place as do so many at Duke.

Here we have the wife of Timothy Tyson.


I'd like to know how many from the Women's Center also have other family members working at Duke.

We already know that Tyson's loony research assistant Melody Ivins has been associated with the Center.

She wanted me to know that "a real Diva is never vulgar".


After which one is compelled to ask....."How would anyone associated with such a nonessential and archaic entity know anything about 'Divahood'?"

Intriguing, that.

In all Diva candor, if most of these women were ever really assaulted by a man, it would not be a crime, but a coup.

Anonymous said...

Is Gregory a Communist?

A Duke Dad said...

To William Anderson @ 8:44 AM:

Duke's East Campus is pretty isolated from West and Central. When my daughter attended, the freshmen dorms were in East Campus.

It was just street smarts that after dark, and other times when it was not busy, that students (especially women) use the campus shuttle buses.

The original intent of the isolation of East Campus was to separate the Women's College from the Men's.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Ms. Gregory should read the following article dated 09-09-09 (even through it has “NBA” in the address, it is about college basketball players:

Title: Prosecutor: No charges in alleged Ark. rape case

Three University of Arkansas basketball players investigated after a female student claimed that she was raped at fraternity party WILL NOT FACE charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday. [emphasis added]
. . .
But [the DA] said witness interviews and statements from the woman didn't show that she was unaware a sex act occurred or that she was unable to say no - circumstances that could lead to sexual assault charges.
. . .
"There's a misconception with some people that if somebody's been drinking and someone has sex with them, there's a rape. [Will anyone in Durham call the DA in Ark. and beg to differ?] That's not the law," [D.A.] Threet said. "The law makes you actually go further than that ... and based on the statements of the people that were there, and some people who had contact later, there was just insufficient evidence."

The penultimate paragraph references the “Duke lacrosse” case.

Will there be any pot bagging? Any faculty complaining about students athletes being privileged and pampered? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised by the assumption that very intelligent people are more manipulative than the general population.

In my experience, a manipulative person is quick to pick up cues of other people's reactions. This skill is essential to manipulation. Many of the intelligent people I have met are slow in this respect. This is especially true of scientists.

Ex-prosecutor said...

My experience is that a very large percent of victim advocates for alleged victims of rape and child sexual abuse absolutely refuse to believe the those claiming to be victims would lie. That simply is not correct.

It's a real problem for prosecutors when victims' advocates are so blinded by their absolute belief in the version of the alleged crime that they do not investigate inconsistencies in the complainants' stories.

In child sexual abuse cases, many jurisdictions now require taping of all interviews of the children, for, often, investigators, through their questions, will suggest the response they want, and the children will comply.

As to rape cases, which, in the absence of corroborating evidence, can be swearing matches, legitimate investigators look to available evidence to determine whether a case can be prosecuted.

I've dealt with date rape claims, both as a prosecutor and defense lawyer, in which male college students were charged with rape although there was absolutely no corroborating evidence.

In one I recall, the complainant said that she had not been drinking, had gone willingly with the defendant to his dorm room, that he had overpowered and raped her.

None of the circumstantial evidence supported her claim.
Students in adjoining rooms had seen her voluntarily go with the defendant to his room, they heard no noises through the thin walls while she was with him, her clothes were not torn, she had no contusions or bruises and afterward, the defendant walked her back to her dorm, in what appeared to be a normal fashion. The following morning, she contacted campus security, saying that the defendant had raped her.

He was indicted, went to trial, and was found not guilty.

This case illustrated a problem which often arises in rape cases, and, particularly, date rape. Usually, the
complainant and defendant are intelligent and the defendant has had no prior arrests. So, in the absence of corroborating evidence, the case come down to which of the two is the more believable. Since the burden of proof is on the prosecution, a tie means that the defendant walks.

I have never liked the prospect of seeing a possibly innocent first-offender go to jail simply because the victim seems more credible.
And that's the situation in many date rape cases. Without corroboration, it's hard to know whom to believe.

I've always thought that it would give victims' advocates a more realistic perspective if they would help prosecutors prepare for trial some of the complaints they have pushed. However, I doubt that their psyches would survive.

I went to Vanderbilt, not Duke,and, as I look back, can think of few students whom, I think, may have been sociopaths. To say this this trait appears more often in intelligent people is silly but necessary to prove the point. To see a high percent of sociopaths, just go to a bar.

Anonymous said...

If Gregory was going to honestly use Lisak's data, she'd note that there is supposedly a correlation between rape and domestic abuse and/or child abuse. Since Duke doesn't have any specific set asides or quotas for the matriculating child or domestic abusing student, this should be good news for Duke.

If she were going to be honest, she'd note that the university's emphasis on diversity, given FBI statistics on the race of rape perpetrators, might lead to a higher incidence of rape on campus. But, I'd bet that she wouldn't dare mention the exponential risk of rape when characterizing the black, versus the white, male. That wouldn't sit well with the politically correct frame at Duke.

It is unbelievable that Gregory won't admit that the process of becoming a Duke student: i.e. studying hard, avoiding reported crimes and participating in healthy extracurricular activities would winnow out the Lisak-type of rapist.

By the way, Lisak the true believer's analogy of rapists to lions is a false one. All lions are predators, but not all men. Moreover, most of lion predation is due to the female of the species.

Debrah said...

This one might be of interest to Ada Gregory and her staff.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 9/10/09 3:14 said...

I think you have the cause and effect mixed up in regards to the connection between child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
We're discussing Gregory's cause and effect analysis in her search for the truth.

There isn't any.

Cause and effect or truth.

Anonymous said...

If Duke feels this way about its intelligent male students, it should follow through by restricting admissions to men with lower GPAs and test scores. (They've clearly already done this for faculty, and not just for one gender either.)

jamil hussein said...

Remember: Women never lie about rape.

Police: Road rage prompts claim of rape that didn’t happen

"Newport News officers say [Megan] McLane, who lives in the neighborhood where the attack supposedly happened, admitted she lied about the attack. Police found out she had a confrontation with another driver as she headed home to Newport News from York County on Denbigh Boulevard. The Windsor Great Park community sits off of Denbigh. The two had verbal exchange. Things did get a little physical. In an attempt to get the other driver into trouble, detectives say McLane tore her own clothing and injured herself in order to make the claim of attempted rape look real. "

Anonymous said...

It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether Duke University upholds any standards of academic integrity, fairness, research relevance, correct use of the English language, honesty or organizational policy. Each day brings another in the long series of inaccuracies, inappropriate statements, twisted facts and almost comical personalities populating Duke's faculty and administration.

A friend , who teaches on the west coast, tells me that Duke has become the joke of the academic world. While I cannot verify this , I can atest to countless fellow alumni actively avoiding identiofication as graduates of Duke in order to avoid criticism, sarcasm and jokes.

The arrogance of responsibility avoidance of those who attempt to lead at Duke is almost as embarrasing as all the "Ada Gregorys" who now populate Duke's faculty and administration.

Sad. Very sad.

Debrah said...

Has anyone heard from the intriguing Wahneema Lubiano lately?

Since she's due back from her global work this fall, might we be in store for a book or two?

It occurred to me that Lubiano might be employing Ratliff's methods in this Wired article and we simply haven't been clever enough to track down her forthcoming libros.

Perhaps we've not put enough effort into this search.

I would so enjoy a follow-up to this piece of work.

It could be her next forthcoming book and perhaps the ever-elusive Ada Gregory could contribute a few chapters.

'Whatever happens, ... what people are asking is that something change.'

Anonymous said...

Is Gregory a Communist?

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with Lisak's work. I'm an MD ,who doesn't work in the psychiatry /sex offender fields. My opinion of this kind of statistic ( one in four) is colored by the studies about 15 years ago stating 40 % of females in an ER were victims of domestic violence. SInce I had ER experience, I knew this was ridiculous.
I think MS Gregory is simply trying to paint anyone who is an 'elite' as a bad person. Kind of an ipso facto .It's nice in that it doesn't require any research or even thought. If I had an employee who made such a stupid comment ,such a nasty comment,thewy would be an ex employee soon.
But I guess thats's Duke for you.It reaaly is a canker on the idea of a civil university where thought is cherished.

Debrah said...

Like most people with a "cause", Ms. Prejean seems to be capitalizing on her run-in with an equally tendentious fellow attention-seeker.

silent_l said...

OK, KC (referring to 12:19 post), I’m not sure I see the difference in your distinction. It still seems that you’re arguing that the correlation between rape and the other behaviors would mean that the likelihood of being a rapist would depend in some way on the availability of children and family to abuse. Whether that is a valid or invalid conclusion would depend on the nature of the correlation. The fact that those three are likely to happen in combination could be accounted for by many possible factors and causes.

Imagine, for example (I’m not asserting this to be true, I don’t believe it to be true, I’m merely using it to make a point about the limitations of statistics) that the reality underlying the statistics was that rapists formed a fixed, predetermined group of men, but their being doomed to be rapists made them more likely than the population at large to abuse children *IF* they had happened to have access to children, and more likely to abuse people in their home *IF* they happened to be the alpha male in a family.

In that case, there would be the reported higher correlation, but the *absence* of children and family would not in any way decrease their likelihood of being rapists. Thus, the correlation doesn’t necessarily imply that there would be fewer rapists in the absence of children and families, as at Duke. It doesn’t imply the opposite either, absent more specific data. It all depends on WHY the correlation is present.

On the other hand, that hardly defends the assertion that Duke would inherently contain the "cream of the crop" of sex offenders. Gregory seems to reason “Duke students are, on average, smart, therefore Duke students are extra-smart sex offenders.” This requires, of course, the intermediate assumption that “Duke students are sex offenders”. An absence of rape convictions could mean that the sex offenders are clever, or that the sex offenders are somewhere else. I don’t know that I’ve seen anything to suggest that all males, regardless of selection criteria, have an equal likelihood of being rapists. Absent actual studies of elite college students, such data would seem to be a pre-condition for a reasonable assumption that elite college students have the same likelihood of becoming rapists as the population at large.

In fact, as far as I’m aware, the data indicates that environment and background have a profound impact on what sorts of crimes a person is more or less likely to commit, so there is no basis I can see (again, absent specific studies) to assume that elite college students could not turn out to be *LESS* likely to commit that crime than the population at large. Absent specific data, they could be less likely, or more. Assuming doesn’t make it so.

Frankly, asserting that Duke students (being smart) must contain the cream of the crop of sex offenders sounds to me like it’s rooted in the “all men are rapists” mindset. Her comment comes across to me like “What, no data to support our assumed number of rapes? They must have truly clever rapists here!” Or she may have merely failed to communicate (to me, and apparently to others) whatever her actual point may have been.

No, I’m not the 3:14.

Anonymous said...

The latest study out indicates that the percentage is greater that an African-American woman will complain about abuse by her sexual partner than her white counterpart. But, do you think Ada Gregory will mention this or let PC pressures keep her targeted on Party Boy Chad?

Actually, Gregory should just shut up as she is an embarrassment to Duke University.

Jack from Mendham said...

Getting a little tired of this constant reference to “elite” universities. Duke frequently refers to itself this way, and the people on this and other websites use the term as if it has real meaning.

It is condescending in tone, particularly when used by people whose contact with any college does not extend much beyond their alma mater, and perhaps to some extent, where their children attend. In either case, from a practical standpoint, they do no know nearly as much about any school as perhaps they think.

The term also does a disservice to all the hard working kids who, for a variety of reasons, have not had the opportunity to attend such schools. Oh, those poor kids at Rutgers, or Indiana State or CCNY; do you think they’ll ever know what they are missing? Perhaps the term “prestigious” would be better – it connotes high status by reputation, while “elite”, to me sounds pretentious, smug, and imperious. After all, are we not just going on the basis of the US News and Marketing Report that the schools have so assiduously cultivated over the last 20 years?

With all I have read about Duke and its conduct and practices over the past few years, a better term might be “elitist”.