Former professor says rapes on college campuses are uncommon

Correction appended

Former professor and Fox News analyst Bob Beckel came under fire this week after he implied rape almost never occurs on college campuses.

Bob Beckel, who taught advanced political strategy at GW for more than 10 years, said, “When’s the last time you heard about rape on a college campus?” on Fox News Tuesday. Photo used under the Creative Commons license.

Bob Beckel, a liberal commentator who taught in the Graduate School of Political Management for more than a decade, was debating co-hosts on The Five Tuesday about proposed legislation in Colorado to allow women to carry concealed weapons to deter attempts of sexual assault when he said, “When’s the last time you heard about rape on a college campus?”

Co-hosts lashed back at Beckel, including conservative commentator Eric Bolling who said sexual assaults on college campuses were “rampant” and former White House press secretary Dana Perino who said incidents of date rapes in particular were widespread.

“Yes, date rape, that’s one problem,” Beckel said. “But are you going to take a gun out and shoot your date?”

Beckel defended his comments Wednesday, The Huffington Post reported. He said he wanted to clarify that there was no difference between date rape and other kinds of sexual assault.

About 20 percent of women who attend college are victims of attempted or actual sexual assaults, according to the Department of Education, but studies have shown that the vast majority of campus rapes go unreported. At GW, the number of sexual assault reports totaled 11 in 2010 and 16 in 2011, according to Department of Education statistics.

The 64-year-old’s career has been marked with multiple incidents of controversy. While commenting on the ban of public nudity in San Francisco, Calif. live on Fox News in 2012, he said most nudists were “probably gang-banged” as children.

This post was updated Feb. 22, 2013 to reflect the following:

The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Bob Beckel was still an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Political Management. He has not been on the school’s payroll since 2008, spokesman John Brandt said. We regret this error.

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