one in four women? really?!

Not too long ago, I was out with a couple of friends, and it ended up being one of those precious and rare occasions when we were able to push past the usual meaningless chatter to a place of real vulnerability.

But in the course of the conversation, I started thinking again (as I have many times before) about the statistics I’ve so often heard about “one in four women”. The context varies, but I’ve heard it said that “one in four” is sexually assaulted by the time they reach college age, or “one in four” has been molested in childhood–it doesn’t so much matter which version we are talking about; my real problem with these oft-stated statistics is that, at least in the circles I find myself in, the “one in four” thing doesn’t even come close to the reality.

So the question I am left with is, am I statistically unusual, and do I tend to build friendships with a disproportionate amount of these “one in four” types? Or are the statistics vastly underestimating the problem? (A few studies suggest higher numbers, but the popular rhetoric seems to embrace the “one in four” thing as if it were gospel truth.)

I realize that statistics are quirky little creatures, and that as a rule, they should hardly be trusted . . . but I also know a lot of women . . . and again and again, I hear stories that blow these so-called “statistics” out of the water.

I’m going to make sure that anonymous comments are enabled, but if you’re reading this, would you be willing to de-lurk and (anonymously) give me either a “yep” or “not me” in the comments of this post? (if you’re a male, we don’t mean to exclude you, but if you do respond, please indicate that you are male when you leave your comment.)  So this will be my own poorly designed research study (which makes it no different than most studies that are out there!), and I will be intrigued to see the results.

I suspect that my reaction will ultimately be, “one in four, my a$$!”, but we shall see.

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