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University Statement on Professor Steven Landsburg Blog Post

from Bill Murphy, Vice President, University Communications
April 8, 2013

Many members of the University community have been offended by Professor Steven Landsburg’s March 20 blog postthat poses hypothetical questions about the rights of an unconscious rape victim. They maintain that his questions can be read as condoning the rape of unconscious victims.

On April 5, Professor Landsburg released a statement saying in part, “I am both sad and sorry that my recent blog post has distressed so many people so deeply, both on campus and off. I am particularly sad because many readers got the impression that I was endorsing rape, while my intent was to say exactly the opposite—namely that the horror of rape is so great that we should rethink accepted principles of policy analysis that might sometimes minimize that horror.”

Professor Landsburg made his post on his personal blog. It has no direct connection to the University. His views are his own; he does not speak for the University. The University disagrees with the content, which does not reflect its views or values.

In his remarks to the conference “Survivor to Thriver: Confronting Sexual Assault on Campus,” on April 3, President Seligman talked about the horror of cases in which unconscious victims are exploited. “The trauma that rape victims feel can affect their lives for decades in ways that can be emotionally devastating not only to the victim but to those who love her or him.”