Sydor: “Discredited Researcher Cited in Guidance for Title IX Administrators, Critics Say,” The College Fix


Inventing a ‘predatory pattern’ to spur more complaints? A group that represents Title IX professionals is drawing criticism for citing disputed research on the nature of campus sexual assault. In a recent “position statement,” the Association of Title IX Administrators issued guidance to members on “the consideration of pattern evidence in sexual misconduct investigations and resolutions.” While ATIXA said it was responding to “contradictory research” as well as court rulings, the work of one researcher it cited, the retired clinical psychologist David Lisak, has come under repeated scrutiny in recent years. Lisak’s claim that “a select few individuals account for the majority of campus sexual assaults,” as ATIXA summarized it, has heavily influenced how campus officials respond to reported sexual misconduct and how the subject is covered in the media, including the documentary The Hunting Ground … Title IX consultant Marybeth Sydor, who works with students accused of sexual misconduct, told The College Fix that she found problematic ATIXA’s statement that Lisak’s research can justify “special emphasis on possible patterns.”

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