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A new report on sexual assault released today by the U. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault.In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data.

I wonder what’s going on here and which study we should believe? There’s an old study with findings we didn’t like, but now there’s a new study with different findings we do like. The reason it was insufficiently pessimistic is that there are also people like the Federalist staff, who acknowledge the existence of opposing studies, but only with the adjective “debunked” in front of them.

By “debunked” they usually mean one of two things: 1.

And so if the first level of confirmation bias is believing every study that supports your views, the second layer of confirmation bias is believing every supposed refutation that supports your views. I saw this same dynamic at work the other day, looking through the minimum wage literature.

There are certainly things that have been “well-refuted” and “debunked”. The primordial titanomachy of the minimum wage literature goes like this.

Many others have thoroughly debunked this study.” (source) “I was under the impression that the original study done by Card and Krueger had been thoroughly debunked by Michigan State University economist David Neumark and William Wascher” (source) “The study … Second of all, some studies that don’t quite meet Wakefield-level of awfulness are indeed really bad and need refuting.

by Card and Krueger has been debunked by several different people several different times. I don’t think this is beyond the intellectual capacities of most people.

Someone on my side published a study later that found something else 2.

Someone on my side accused it of having methodological flaws Since the Federalist has so amply demonstrated the first failure mode, let me say a little more about the second.

Not everything over there is fully functional yet, and the internal links still point to this blog, and will for the indefinite future.

So all the old material will be left here for archival purposes, with comments turned off.

Both sides are no doubt very pleased with themselves. They look at all of the research – except of course the studies that have been “debunked” or “well-refuted”. Or one side of a complicated an interminable debate where both sides have about equal credentials and sway.

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