News and Analysis

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 11:47 a.m.

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.

  • ben

    this guy is a joke. shame he carries the gw name

  • Yasemin

    I love how the right now cares for sexual assault now that guns are involved. Where were they in the past?
    In reality, their only concern IS gun rights, not actually ending sexual assault. Clearly, the root of the sexual violence issue is not because women are incapable to shooting gun.
    These people disgust me.

  • ali

    Shame on GW for letting him carry the name. If they’re going to promote themselves as a progressive university, they should start with the professors.

  • Chiara

    When a professor — someone who’s supposed to be an academic authority, a credible representative of our school as an institution, and one of the adults who makes decisions that deeply impact students’ futures — says something as inane and deeply offensive as this, I am terrified. This doesn’t just bring shame to GW, this just makes me more certain that GW cannot and will not be a safe space for students. If we can’t eradicate the perpetuation of rape culture and violence starting with our professors and people who act as mouthpieces for GW (something you’d assume the university would have reasonable control over), how can we begin to eradicate facets of rape culture that are even more insidious and further out of our reach?

  • Sally

    Of the many reasons I feel embarrassed to attend and carry with me the name of GWU, asinine “educators” like Beckel top my list. While it is important that our administration strives to provide a politically diverse faculty, it is also imperative that they hold our professors responsible and accountable for providing misinformation and also for SPEWING COMPLETE AND TOTAL BULLSHIT in public settings.

  • Jeff

    I was watching the TV show when Beckel made his stupid statement. Liberals like Beckel will say anything rather than acknowlege that guns are the best way for women to defend themselves against rapists so restrictions on carrying concealed firearms hurt women the most.

  • notGSPMProf

    FYI He has not been an adjunct nor taught at GW (or GSPM) for a number of years now. Editors, please fact check!

  • Rachel

    This is appalling. I hope GW fires this moron.

  • Hilary

    I think what he said is disgusting. I also find it interesting that this post completely ignored that Beckel is both a Democrat & a huge fan of Obama. So, yes, he is ‘progressive’, and no, there still isnt political diversity among Professors. He is also anti-gun, so I dont think he was using this as a platform to attack gun restrictions.

  • Re Yasemin

    Um, what’s the basis for your claim that the right has never been tough on sexual assault? Last time I checked, it’s the Left that supports weak anti-crime policies, e.g. parole, ineffective rehabilitation programs, etc.

    Every conservative I know is a strong supporter of everything from tough self-defense statutes (e.g. stand your ground) to mandatory minimums and elimination or reduction of parole.

%d bloggers like this: