Big-time college football and rapes

While AD Rob Mullens and Duck apologists like VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson love to talk about the benefits of the Duck’s big-time sports enterprise, there are a few costs as well. Former UO economics professor Jason Lindo (now at Texas A&M) and coauthors (including Isaac Swensen a UO PhD grad) have some new estimates on one non-pecuniary cost, in an NBER working paper here:

This paper considers the degree to which events that intensify partying increase sexual assault. Estimates are based on panel data from campus and local law-enforcement agencies and an identification strategy that exploits plausibly random variation in the timing of Division 1 football games. The estimates indicate that these events increase daily reports of rape with 17-24 year old victims by 28 percent. The effects are driven largely by 17-24 year old offenders and by offenders unknown to the victim, but we also find significant effects on incidents involving offenders of other ages and on incidents involving offenders known to the victim.

InsideHigherEd has a write-up by Scott Jaschik, here:

On the days that big-time college football teams play, the campus and local police departments of institutions playing see a notable increase in reports of rapes of college-aged women, a new national study has found.

The study, released today by the National Bureau of Economic Research (abstract available here), analyzed data reported by campus and local agencies to the National Incident Based Reporting System, through which the U.S. Justice Department collects and analyzes crime reports. The data are detailed enough that the researchers were able to compare patterns by days of the week so that the football game days were compared to comparable days without games.

The analysis found a 28 percent increase in rape reports by college-age women (defined as 17-24 years old) on days on which Division I-A football teams played. The increase was greater on days of home games (up 41 percent) than away games (15 percent). (The study uses the term Division I-A that has since been replaced by the category Football Bowl Subdivision.)

These figures would translate into an additional 253 to 770 rapes of college-age women each year across the 128 colleges and universities in Division I-A of college football, the study says.

Previous work by some of the same authors, using data from UO, has shown the link between football wins and declining academic performance, particularly for males. The NYT write-up is here, complete with a statistical critique from Duck athletics spokesperson Dave Williford.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.