In the first part of this series, I discussed the reason for the feminist backlash against discussing false rape accusations, and tackled LefthandedLunatic’s (LhL) opening arguments regarding false rape accusations.
This brings me to the author’s list of statistics, which prove to be rather misleading, and given the repeated nature of the inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and omissions, I am inclined to believe this was deliberate. For example, the first citation is a 2012 report from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. LhL cites this section about false reporting:
- A multi-site study of eight U.S. communities including 2,059 cases of sexual assault found a 7.1 percent rate of false reports (Lonsway, Archambault, & Lisak, 2009).
- A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston from 1998-2007 found a 5.9 percent rate of false reports (Lisak et al., 2010).
- Using qualitative and quantitative analysis, researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-2003 and found a 2.1 percent rate of false reports (Heenan & Murray 2006).
What the author fails to also cite is the context:
To date, much of the research conducted on the prevalence of false allegations of sexual assaults is unreliable because of inconsistencies with definitions and methods employed to evaluate data (Archambault, n.d.). A review of research finds that the prevalence of false report is between 2 percent and 10 percent. The following studies support these findings[…]
In other words, the studies the report cites are admittedly inaccurate, which in turns means that neither the researchers nor the police have any real idea how frequently false accusations occur. They merely have data on the instances they caught, which they inexplicably combine with cases that lacked enough evidence to prosecute.
None of these studies can tell us how many reported cases are actually false, how many make it through to trial, or how many result in conviction, which makes this claim from the report rather presumptuous:
Research shows that rates of false reporting are frequently inflated, in part because of inconsistent definitions and protocols, or a weak understanding of sexual assault. Misconceptions about false reporting rates have direct, negative consequences and can contribute to why many victims don’t report sexual assaults (Lisak et al., 2010). To improve the response to victims of sexual violence, law enforcement and service providers need a thorough understanding of sexual violence and consistency in their definitions, policies and procedures.
That is not at all what the research shows, however, it does fit with the feminist narrative that false accusations rarely occur, which is the purpose of the report. It is meant to dismiss the concern about false accusations, not investigate the actual frequency of false accusations.
LhL goes on to state:
Now I know that 2-10% is alot and enough to give anyone pause considering how epidemic sexual assault is.
That would not appear to be the case. The author cites a study that showed:
[…] that between 2006 to 2010 the Average number of false rape accusations or baseless accusations was 5.55%, and robbery had a higher false and baseless accusation rate of 5.76%
It appears LhL thinks a 0.21% difference is evidence of the rarity of false rape accusations, so it would be fair to conclude that the author does not 2-10% is “a lot”.
The author continues:
But consider a few things.
1. 1 in 6 of women report they have been sexually assaulted.
How is that relevant to the discussion? The frequency of sexual violence against women has no bearing on the frequency of false accusations of rape. They are wholly unrelated. This marks the first of many emotional appeals LhL makes throughout the post. None of them are relevant to the issue at hand. Rather, they serve only show “women have it worse” and dismiss any genuine concerns about the experiences of the falsely accused.
2. Only a 1/3rd of sexual assaults are reported to police. So at its 2-10% of 33%
I could not find any of those numbers on the link to RAINN’s statistics page, which incidentally uses outdated and selective data, making the information quite misleading. However, even if the statistics were on the page, the author’s conclusion is wrong.
One third of 33% is exactly 11%, and this too is irrelevant to frequency of false accusations. It does not matter how few female victims report their abuse. The issue is how many people make false rape accusations.
3. This statistic covers if or not an accusation is false, wither or not a specific suspect is named which I will show below is a more interesting stat.
This is a phenomenal achievement. Perhaps instead of writing a post on reddit, LhL should contact various district attorneys’ offices and inform them of which inmates need to be released because they are innocent. If that is not the author’s claim, then there is no way the author could possibly find any statistic that could accurately determine whether an accusation is true or false. It is intellectually dishonest to make such a claim.
The majority of false rape accusations are made against non existent strangers the victims claim they don’t know.
Again, there is no way for any researcher to determine this because the researcher does not and cannot know which accusations are true and which are false. It is possible that false accusations get through the system because the accuser named a person. It is possible that the non-existent stranger scenario is caught more frequently due to its ridiculous nature. There is no way to know what is true without a clear understanding of how often false accusations actually occur.
The author then goes on to claim :
How many people Falsely Accused of Rape actually go to Jail? Thankfully we found that the answer is very low.
National Registry of Exoneration who keeps track of how many innocent people have been… well… exonerated found that since 1989 in the US 52 people have been exonerated for sexual assault that they didn’t do. People exonerated on false accusations of Murder was 790 people.
That is not the information presented on the site. The site provides an infographic showing that between 1989 and 2018, 592 people were exonerated for sexual violence, 324 for sexual assault and 268 for child sex abuse. It also shows that 950 people were exonerated for homicide. Another report provided on the site states compares the findings from the 2003 and 2012 reports, and shows that people convicted of sexual violence represented 35% and 36% of exonerations respectively.
The report further shows that 80% of the exonerations for sexual assault involved misidentification, either with the accuser naming the wrong person or being presented with the wrong person, while 23% were false accusations. The numbers flip, however, with child sex abuse: 26% resulted from misidentification, but 74% resulted from false accusations. The report also states:
An additional 11% of the exonerations involve fabricated crimes: cases in which someone claimed to have witnessed the exoneree commit a crime that in fact never occurred (96/873). The typical case in this group is a false claim of child sex abuse against a defendant who was well known to the complaining witness – a relative, a friend or a teacher. These false complaints are usually produced by pressure on the children from relatives, police officers or therapists; they generally unravel when the witnesses recant. Occasionally we see an exoneration in a case in which a total stranger was accused of a crime that never happened.
What these numbers show is that of the people exonerated of sex crimes, 48.5% were convicted for crimes that never happened. The remaining 51.5% were misidentified, often do to racial bias, as most of the men who experienced this were black men accused of raping white women.
Most of the sex crime cases involved DNA evidence as the means for proving someone’s innocence. However, as I mentioned before, many rape cases do not have any physical evidence, so cases like Brian Banks’ could easily slip through, leaving the man without any method of clearly his name short of the accuser recanting.
LhL then goes on to cite a British report on false accusations:
British Home Office did a detailed study and report on the issues of false rape accusations in 2005 and found that out of the 216 cases of rape that was false in the UK, 126 of them have a formal complain filed by the accuser, 39 of them had a named suspect and only 6 of them were arrested. Out of the 6 arrested only 2 have charges and 0 of them had a conviction.
That is not exactly what the report states. This is what it states:
Exploring the grounds on which cases were deemed to be false allegations is revealing and 120 pro formas contained explanations: in 53 cases the police stated that the complainant admitted the complaint was false, most commonly within days of the initial accusation; 28 cases involved retractions; three non co-operation and in 56 cases the decision was made by the police on evidential grounds. Interestingly, the majority of cases in which the complainant themselves admitted the allegation was false could be categorised as the often quoted motives of ‘revenge’ (n=8) and ‘cover-up’ (n=25). Although, as the explanations provided on the police pro formas which are summarised in Box A, reveals, the terms ‘revenge’ and ‘cover up’ do not do justice to the complexity of the circumstances involved.
One of the issues with the report is that it only looks at cases that were deemed false by the police. As mentioned before, all false accusations are not report to the police, nor are they caught at police stations. We have enough evidence to safely state that some false accusations result in a trial and some result in convictions. So the report’s claim that:
There are false allegations, and possibly slightly more than some researchers and support agencies have suggested. However, at maximum they constitute nine per cent and probably closer to three per cent of all reported cases.
is unjustified. At best, one could say that up to 9% of the rape cases police encounter are determined to be false. It is possible and probable that some false accusations are never reported to the police. It is possible and probable that some go to trial and result in acquittal. Likewise, some of them result in convictions or plea deals, and this report did not factor those in, so there are three aspects of potential false accusations these numbers cannot address.
Fact is that the majority of false rape accusations don’t even name a suspect.
That is not a fact; it is an assumption, and an unfounded one. There is not enough evidence from any of these studies and reports to determine whether most false accusers name a suspect, however, let us say there is. That still leaves a number of instances in which women falsely accuse a specific person of committing a sex crime, which carries the potential for arrest, trial, and conviction. Should we conclude that this acceptable because it is not the majority? It is acceptable to imprison someone for a crime that did not happen merely because it does not occur that often?
This appears to be the author’s argument:
And throwing this into the picture of the total of the numbers of rape really proves how rare false rape Convictions are. Vast majority of false rape accusers always accuse a non existent stranger who raped them and usually not someone specifically. Which means that beyond wasting time and resources majority of false rape accusations are harmless to the general public because no one person is accused.
This is not the first time I have seen a feminist make this argument. This is the same argument feminist made about male rape victims until it became politically untenable for them claim that sexual violence against men and boys is so rare as to be negligible.
It is an indefensible position because it is immoral and unethical to imprison a person for a crime they did not commit, let alone one that never happened. To deprive someone of his freedom is a very serious decision, and as a society we argue that it is better to let 100 guilty men go free than to imprison one innocent man. Yet the author appears to argue that one innocent man is negligible because false accusations do not occur often, which the author fails to prove.
LhL then states:
When you take these studies and add them to what we already know about rape a more complete picture forms:
1/6 women claim to have experience sexual assault, follow by a 1/3 reporting the assault to police, then worst case scenario 1/10 are false. Out of those false rape accusations 9/50 name a suspect, out of false rape accusations that accuse someone 15/100 get an arrest and, out of those who are arrested for a rape they didn’t do only 1/3 have charges placed against them.
So 1/6 x 1/3 x 1/10 x 9/50 x 15/100 x 1/3 = 0.00005
Which mean out of all the women you meet you have a 0.005% chance of being falsely charged of Rape.
Perhaps the most shocking element of the author’s ridiculous math is that it never occurred to LhL that the women who falsely claim they were raped… were not raped, and therefore would not be represented by the 1 in 6 number. Obviously there is the potential for some overlap, however, it seems more likely that women who falsely claim they were raped likely never raped.
The proper question to ask then would be how many women in make false accusations? Also, how many of the women who falsely claim they were raped report it to the police? What if the woman merely wants to tarnish someone’s reputation, but not get him arrested? How would any of these studies track those situations? For example, take Kavanaugh’s accusers. Those women made false claims, yet none of them filed charges, so their claims would never make it to police reports or exoneration registry.
How would we count them? Or should we not include them at all?
The author continues:
Compare this to the fact that 6.4% of men openly admitted of committing the strictest possible definition of rape and 23% of that 6.4% admitted of multiple rapes.
The link to study was broken, and the same could be said of LhL’s argument. It is not only irrelevant to the issue of false accusations, but there is no similar study asking women whether they would commit sexual violence or make false accusations. This is nothing more than a piece of feminist trivia used to tarnish men.
This too is another common feminist tactic when it comes to men’s issues. It is not enough to dismiss the concerns. Feminists must take the extra step and accuse men of being the wrongdoers. The underlying argument is that okay for women to violate men because some men may want to violate women. It is a nonsensical position, yet one feminists routinely use.
LhL then asks:
Why False Rape Accusations happen?
Many people who fear False Rape Accusations claim that women in the work force will make a False Accusation against a man in a higher position, or a student who is going to fail an exam will accuse a professor, or rape or that a vengeful ex, or a woman who regretted sex later.
But the realities of this is very surprising.
According to a review done by the LAPD found the reasons for a False Rape accusations is unwanted pregnancies or more commonly “Missed Curfews” by young teenagers. It turns out that 55% of False Rape Accusations according to this review are for hope of getting medical care or psychiatric medication by the very poor and destitute
It is interesting that the author chose to cite a new study rather than continue with the previous British report. Perhaps that is because that report found:
Interestingly, the majority of cases in which the complainant themselves admitted the allegation was false could be categorised as the often quoted motives of ‘revenge’ (n=8) and ‘cover-up’ (n=25). Although, as the explanations provided on the police pro formas which are summarised in Box A, reveals, the terms ‘revenge’ and ‘cover up’ do not do justice to the complexity of the circumstances involved.
Against a difficult neighbour.
Against an ex-partner who the woman had sex with hoping this indicated reconciliation, whilst he had no intention of leaving his new partner.
Against an ex-partner who had forced sex on previous occasions, although not on this one.
To make an ex-partner feel sorry for her.
Against a man who the women had sex with who ignored her the next day.
Cover up included:
Eight cases of hiding consensual sex with another man from husbands/partners.
Nine cases of avoiding confrontations with parents.
Four cases where accusations arose where the complainant was being investigated for fraud or theft.
One case of an affair with a father-in-law.
As for the statistics the author mentioned, again, they are inaccurate. Here is the table from the LAPD report:
The author claimed that 55% of the false claims were in made to receive medical care. The table shows that 10.9% sought medical care. The report contained no reference to the women’s economic status. This yet again an example of the author using an emotional appeal rather than citing the facts.
It is also worth noting that the report shows women often have multiple motives for making false accusations. This makes it difficult to point to one thing and claim it is the primary cause, be it women seeking medical attention or revenge.
The author states:
Also it is noted that half of the False Rape Accusations are made by Parents of children. Either by pressuring the child to go to the police or accusing someone of rape without the child knowing. It is also important to note that the rare Serial False Rape Accusers tend to have a history of being a legitimate victim Sexual Abuse as a child.
Again, the link was broken, so I cannot double check the LhL’s claims, however, the latter claim is something I have never read in any study, so I am hesitant to believe it is true. However, even if it is, it is yet another irrelevant point. It does not matter whether the false accuser was a victim of legitimate abuse in the past. What matters is whether the person is making a false accusation against someone now.
Likewise, it does not matter whether the parent (in most instances, the mother) is the one making the accusation. The issue is again that the accusation is false.
As this shows that the False Accuser the majority of the time aren’t the serial accusers we hear on the media nor are in tech jobs, nor college students who regret sex. Instead it is usually either the very poor looking for free medication, teenagers trying to get out of trouble and parents of children who make the vast majority of False Rape Accusations.
The LAPD report does not substantiate that claim. It is not only a lie, but a rather bizarre lie to make. It would not make it acceptable to falsely accuse someone of rape because the accuser is poor and needs medication. That is still immoral and unethical, and it is patently dishonest make lie in such a manner.
LhL then brings up yet another irrelevant point:
Also there are no corolations with the age of the accusation or the number of sexual partners of the accuser and wither their accusations are true or not. Add this to the fact that most legitimate victims lie to themselves and others saying that they weren’t sexually assaulted when they really were. This denial often is due to the fact that the majority of victims know their abusers personally before the assault and often change their stories or denied that they were as a way to cope the trauma. I can personally attest to that.
None of this has anything to do with false accusations. The issue are instances in which a person has claimed someone sexually assaulted them when that did not happen. Changing the subject to something one can defend is understandable given the weakness of one’s argument, however, it is inexcusable.
The purpose of this post was to “fact check” the claims about false accusations. So far the LhL has failed to do so. The author then addresses other studies that were not included in the list:
People who fear the False Accusation “Epidemic” that is supposedly happening like to point to the “other studies” on these issues. What are these other “studies” and why don’t I use them in my analysts? Well because they are bad. Flat out bad or rely on a misconception of the nature of sexual assault. And there are alot of them.
Stating that something is “flat out bad” is not a valid explanation. One must explain why they are bad. Likewise, arguing that the studies do not understand the nature of sexual assault smacks of opinion. Again, one must demonstrate there are misconception, not simply claim it is so because the researchers do not adhere to feminist doctrine.
In basic rules of studies is the more the better. Anything that are in the low 100s are meh, anything under 100 is a meme.
That is curious given that the author cites the LAPD report, which was based on 401 cases. Indeed, most of the research the author cites is based on numbers that when broken down are barely in the double digits. Yet these are considered valid because they fit the author’s argument.
LhL then dismissed studies with larger sample sizes as unreliable because:
[…] they are working on the police definitions of False or Not. Unfortunately that means that they consider a story false if the victim:
Failed a Polygraph
If the victim delayed reporting their rape
If the victim was “Intellectually Impaired”
If the victim has signs of mental illness
If the victim was intoxicated
If the victim withdraw the complaint
And if the victim was determined by police to be a “Slut”
The author does not provide any examples of this or link to a study that does any of this. The author simply declares that the higher rates cannot be trusted because they count the same things that were counted in all the research the author cited. This is true. With the exception of the polygraph, I found examples of each criteria in the studies LhL considers credible.
Incidentally, none of the examples prove that the claims are true. A person could still be a false accuser and fail a polygraph, delay reporting the “rape”, suffer from mental or cognitive disorder, have been intoxicated, withdrew the accusation, and been called names by the police. One can be a liar and receive terrible treatment. They are not mutually exclusive.
The author then makes the incredibly hypocritical argument:
These studies don’t show or prove who many accusations there are really, it just shows how many cases police view sexual assault cases as false and more importantly aren’t evidence of a massive epidemic of false rape convictions but epidemic of sexist and misguided beliefs that prevent real sexual assault victims from reaching justice.
The studies the author cited do the same thing. They use the same data and language. The only difference is the conclusions, which differ because the author chose primarily feminist studies and reports. There is a noticeable ideological angle in many of those reports, which potentially affects the conclusions those researcher drew.
To be continued in Part 3.