There is no rape epidemic, at least if an epidemic is a “sudden widespread occurrence of a particular undesirable phenomenon.” It would be more accurate to say there has been a sudden decline of rape in America since 1992.
From 1972 to 1992, the rate of rapes in the US almost doubled from 22.5 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants in 1972 to a peak of 42.8 in 1992. Then for the next 21 years, the rate declined in almost every year, and fell to a 41-year low of 23.6 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 (based on January-June data), the lowest rate since 1972. Also note that the current rate of 23.6 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants means that there would be approximately 23.6 rapes per 50,000 women, or 1 in about 2,100.
Bottom Line: Rape is a horrific crime and even one is too many, but victims of crimes are much better served by the truth and accurate reporting about the situation than by exaggerated and false claims of a “rape epidemic.” FBI crime statistics reveal that far from an “epidemic” of an increasing frequency in rape in America, we’ve fortunately experienced exactly the opposite – the frequency of rape has been declining for more than two decades, and fell to a 41-year low in 2013.
The conclusions above are based on the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for the years mentioned. The claim that one in five female college students has been assaulted is totally false and the current hysteria over rape in America is wholly unwarranted.
According to the International Business Times the rate of rape in Sweden was 69 per 100,000 population in 2011 (compared to 27 per 100K in the U.S. that year). New Zealand, Belgium, and the Caribbean have rape rates higher that the U.S. in all years since 1992.
A look around the internet and several google searches tends to show that Canada and Australia have much higher rates of rape than the U.S. in all years since 1972. However, the statistics are sketchy and sometimes reported by political organizations that cannot be trusted as reliable. One thing is clear — Canada and Australia have their own epidemic of hysteria and false claims when it comes to rape.
Why does this exist and what does it show? It exists because hysteria is a way to make money by political groups seeking donations. It is also a way for the supporters and activists of these organizations to get lots of attention and make themselves feel important. That is, after all, the goal of liberalism. Everyone wants to matter. It shows that on any subject that is highly politicized, as sexual assault certainly is, you have to be very careful in what you trust or believe.
Mark Perry at Carpe Diem used the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for all years since 1972 for his information, and that’s probably the most reliable data that can be found.
Here’s a story about another “extraordinary popular delusion”: Six Reasons Why the “Hookup Culture” is a Myth