The argument about serial predators is based almost entirely on a 20-year-old study with a sample size of a single commuter college. The study's author even expressed reservations about how The Hunting Ground used his research, since it wasn't explicitly focused on college sexual assault, and shouldn't be extrapolated across the whole of college campuses as through it were. So when the documentary claims that 8 percent of men on college campuses perform 90 percent of its sexual assaults, it isn't true.
Hunting Ground also cites the commonly heard statistic that one in five (or four, depending on the source) college women are sexually assaulted, but not only is that not true (the data was probably inflated by non-responses from women who had never been assaulted and therefore didn't feel it was right to fill out the survey they had been sent), but it is in fact more likely for non-students of college age to be sexually assaulted (7.6 and 6.1 out of 1,000 women, respectively).
The other main point, that colleges do nothing about sexual assault, is made using a case from Harvard. The film implies that the school railroaded the accuser while stalling an investigation and allowing the assaulter to stay enrolled. But in reality, Harvard hired an outside investigator, temporarily expelled the accused for a year, briefly readmitted him after a vote, then expelled him for good after a grand jury indicted him on felony sexual assault charges.
There have certainly been cases in which colleges have offered inept responses to sexual assault accusations, and the act of reporting is difficult for all sorts of reasons. But students generally believe that their campus would handle an accusation well, and implying that it would always be a futile nightmare doesn't help.
It's also worth noting that the accused in the Harvard case wasn't a serial super attacker -- it was his first offense, which is less scary but a more accurate reflection of general reality. College campuses aren't being prowled by a small cadre of turbo-predators going on rape sprees; they're just another place in society where otherwise "normal" men do s****y things because they think they can get away with it.
Follow Pauli Poisuo on Facebook and Twitter.
Support your favorite Cracked writers with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more, check out The Least Scientific Nature Documentary Ever - Marvels Of The Science - Episode 2:
Follow us on Facebook. It will be the smartest click you ever clicked.