It’s easy to fall victim to alcohol abuse statistics deception. Statistics is challenging enough. But it becomes even more challenging when others try to deceive us. Here are some examples.
“A campus rape is reported every 21 hours, which translates into 6,000 rapes each year.”
Notice anything strange about that statement? If a campus rape is reported slightly over once every day, how can that possibly translate into 6,000 rapes per year? It obviously can’t. It equals 417, not 6,000. That’s 417 too many rapes, but it’s clearly not 6,000.
“Alcohol is implicated in 90% of all campus rapes.”
This is a most distressing statistic. If alcohol is implicated in nine out of every ten campus rapes, then doing something drastic must be done. But relax. This is another completely bogus figure.
“60% of all college women diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease were drunk at the time of infection.”
This is a most disturbing statistic. It implies that strong action needs to be taken…and the sooner the better. But wait. This, too, is yet another false “fact.”
Raising More Voices than Mugs is the source of these bogus statistics and many more. The document is filled cover to cover with deceptive and misleading assertions. That’s in addition to totally incorrect and inflated statistics.
Even More Disturbing
What’s both disturbing but true is the fact that this document is published by the federal government with tax-payers’ money.
The document urges readers to use its statistics and statements. They’re urged to “protest” and to “fight” for an anti-alcohol agenda. An appendix presents common arguments against anti-alcohol proposals. It also gives suggested rebuttals.
This book is so full of consistently false, deceptive and misleading statements that it should never have been printed.
Of course, it’s illegal for federal agencies to engage in political activities. But the U.S. Department of Education apparently tries to skirt the law by instructing others how to do its bidding. Perhaps it’s time for the General Accountability Office (GAO) or the FBI to investigate this apparently illegal misuse of tax monies.
Resources: Alcohol Abuse Statistics Deception
Advocacy Inst. Raising More Voices Than Mugs: Changing the College Alcohol Environment Through Media Advocacy. Wash: U.S. Dept Ed, n.d. Funded by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Drug Prevention Programs in Higher Education, U.S. Dept Ed. It’s distributed by the Nat Clearinghouse for Alco and Drug Ed of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, U.S. Dept Health & Human Serv.
- Brignell, J. Sorry, Wrong Number! The Abuse of Measurement. London: Brigne, 2000.
- Huff, D. How To Lie With Statistics. NY: Norton, 2010.
- Milloy, S. Junk Science Judo: Self-defense against Health Scares & Scams. Wash: Cato, 2001.