Sexual assault stat used in White House report questioned

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill. Associated Press photo.

It is a widely reported statistic: One in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted.

A White House report recently released even cites the statistic.

But some people are questioning the validity of the report from which that number was drawn.

Christina Hoff Sommers, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the host of a weekly video blog called the Factual Feminist, has issues with the vague questions used in the 2007 survey cited and the low response rate from students at only two universities.

"They're online surveys and students choose to respond to them and you tend to get students who feel most strongly about a problem. You'll hear from them. You cannot project what they say to the entire population," Sommers said.

An Ohio State University study had numbers that said the number was about one in 34 women, rather than one in five.

Despite the controversy over the numbers, many people agree there is still a problem that needs to be fixed.

And Missouri Senator Clair McCaskill is working towards that in new legislation, including fixing the inconsistencies in legislation.

"Different standards of proof, different state statutes, we don't even agree with the definition of consent," she said.

Read the entire White House report called "NOT ALONE: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault"