Via NBC, these numbers may reflect higher levels of reporting, rather than more crime:
Experts do not think the reason is because more sex crimes are actually occurring on Ivy campuses.
"I think higher numbers of students reporting sexual offenses suggests there is a process in place that students feel comfortable going to," said Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia law professor who helped write the university's policy on gender based misconduct.
Goldberg says recording more sex complaints is not necessarily a bad thing.
"I think actually all the data suggests that sexual violence including rape, including sexual harassment, including sexual exploitation and domestic violence, takes place fairly evenly across the population at universities."
Inside Higher Ed similarly reports:
While it makes for good headlines, researchers and advocates say using federal reporting data to assess the prevalence of campus sexual assault or to rank the relative safeness of individual colleges is ill advised and even irresponsible.
“It is really misguided to use sexual assault reports as rankings, because schools with higher rates are actually doing a better job of encouraging reporting and addressing the issue,” Laura Dunn, founder and executive director of the victims' advocacy organization SurvJustice, said. “By ranking schools with higher rates as unsafe, the media's uninformed coverage is actually discouraging schools from better addressing campus sexual assault. We don't want to push reports into the shadows; we want [assaults] to be reported and dealt with appropriately.”
Clery data should not be used as a tool for comparing or ranking institutions, said Mary P. Koss, a professor of public health at the University of Arizona and a pioneering researcher on the prevalence of campus sexual assault.
“It is a completely, totally invalid assumption,” Koss said. “In some respects, high numbers can be good. If you’re revamping your approach to sexual assault, you would actually expect the number of reports to go up. But even those high rates are not credible, as they are just the number of reports, not actual assaults. The bigger story is looking at those numbers in the context of how many rapes are being identified by climate surveys.”