Does the Short Skirt Invite Sex Crime?

This article appeared  in Paul Harvey’s column of the SCOTTSBLUFF STAR HERALD newspaper April 11, 1970

Girl’s skirts started creeping upward in 1964. The higher hemline was then most conspicuous only because it rode up when she sat down.

Simultaneously, however coincidentally, crime against women began a dramatic increase. FBI crime files show the rate d forcible rape—which had been declining for five years–shot upward in 1964 and each year since.

In England, where the short skirts had a head start, the rape rate those five recent years increased 90 per cent.

In the United States, the increase has been 68 per cent. Last year forcible rapes increased more than any other violent crime.

Is there a correlation? The consensus of law enforcement officers in 50 states isyes

Women do not see miniskirts from the same point of view as men do.

A girl accustomed to appearing in public in a swimsuit cannot comprehend the difference between that and the provocative promise of a possible view of intimate areas.

Most rapists are age 18.

Of the lawmen surveyed, 83 per cent agreed: “A normally sexed young man will be more likely to think in the direction of overt sex activity by the strip-tease effects of a short skirt wearer, seated, than by any other public fashion in history.”

Professional law enforcement officials in 50 states were asked, “Does the short skirt invite sex crime?” Those in 61 per cent of our major cities reported; 92 per cent said yes.

The juvenile division commander of one large city spoke the consensus view when he said, “Some sex crimes are committed by individuals aroused by their sensory perception and short dresses of some girls could provoke such an attack.”

Where forcible rape is now our nation’s fastest increasing crime, a separate category of “molestation of young skirts” is also increasing at a record rate.

Mary Quant, London designer, mother of the miniskirt, said on November 13, 1967,

“Mini-clothes are symbolic of those girls who want to seduce a man . . .”

And, as if to confirm her conclusion, the years the skirts went up crimes against women demonstrated a parallel increase,

This analysis, compiled by Hollywood Social Studies and analyzed by Chief of Police Duane Baker of Glendale, presumes to draw no conclusion survey’s findings and the FBI statistics.

New York City presently averages reported five forcible rapes per day.

Los Angeles, with a third the population, also has five a day.

San Francisco’s rate is up more than 200 per cent in one year, as in Cleveland.

Yes, many women cannot imagine that it could ever be improper–or even dangerous–to follow fashion.

Women have always delightfully been devious in getting themselves noticed. May it ever be so.

But in this instance, because they don’t quite comprehend the man’s eye-view of what is provocative, seeking attention, they may be asking for trouble.

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