ACADEMY WOES: The AP (via YahooNews) is reporting that there have been 54 alleged rapes or a sexual assaults at the Air Force Academy over some unspecified period of time. This statistic is as troubling as it is unfathomable. Some questions need to be answered.

For one thing, lumping rapes and assaults together into one number is rather unhelpful; is it 54 assaults and no rapes? 53 rapes and an assault? What? I’d also like to know how they’re defining the terms. Are we including as “rapes” cases involving alcohol abuse followed by morning-after regret? Or are there a large number of cases involving the actual use of physical force?

Ultimately, while I know there is still a jock culture at the Academies, I just can’t believe that that there are that many women at the academy who were victims of the most outrageous of crimes but kept it to themselves. The story reports that there have been two cadets actually charged with rape over the past decade, one of whom was convicted and the other pled guilty. So, obviously, it is possible to report rape at the academy and have the authorities take it seriously. Are the other 52 cases prior to that decade?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.