Author Topic: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation  (Read 736 times)

LetterRip

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False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« on: October 09, 2018, 01:37:25 PM »
Someone on facebook had posted a meme claiming that a man had a ".00321%" chance of being falsely accused of rape.

So I figured I'd do some back of the envelope estimates.

Lower bound estimate is 2% of rape reports are false allegations, most credible studies are in the 10-20% range, and there are 100,000 criminal allegations per year. 10- 20% * 100,000 = 10,000 to 20,000 false allegations per year - and if you use lifetime risk (say age 16-66 a 50 year span) 50 years * (10-20,000) = 500,000 to 1,000,000 men falsely accused in their lifetime.  And US adult male population in that age range is about 100 million, that is about a .5-1% lifetime risk of a false allegation.

That is only criminal allegations - false accusations are far more likely in the unreported allegations.

D.W.

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 02:53:30 PM »
And 1% sounds unacceptable until you do the same napkin math on the lifetime risk of actually being raped... 

Seriati

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 02:57:56 PM »
Of course, if you use the same math on being accurately accused of rape, you'd get:

100,000 criminal allegations per year. 80- 90% * 100,000 = 80,000 to 90,000 accurate allegations per year - and if you use lifetime risk (say age 16-66 a 50 year span) 50 years * (80-90,000) = 4,000,000 to 4,500,000 men accurately accused in their lifetime.  And US adult male population in that age range is about 100 million, that is about a 4-4.5% lifetime risk of an accurate allegation.

It's interesting if some what misleading way to describe the statistics.  One could just as easily say you are between 4 and 9 times more likely to be accurately than falsely accused. 

I think too, people are ignoring the moral hazard here.  Rape accusations have been rare because of stigma and cases and convictions rarer because of the burden of proof.  If we move to a standard of proof where accusation = proof, where women are lauded for making the claim and men have no way to defend it, those baseline assumptions will not hold and there will be dramatic shifts in what happens. 

I mean honestly, everyone who has ever had a girlfriend who threatened to kill herself if he leaves, or been in a divorce that includes false accusations of physical violence, should understand the very real possibility against that backdrop that a threat to accuse someone of sexual misconduct will become a potential tactic to retain and control relationships and to "win" divorces and breakups.

Not to say the balance doesn't need to shift, but it can't shift all the way to "prove you didn't do it" or its deemed true.

LetterRip

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 03:21:41 PM »
Seriati,

actually the true allegations doesn't work as well, since true allegations are almost always against serial rapists (I vaguely recall they average something like 10 rapes), whereas false allegations aren't likely to cluster.

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 10:57:41 PM »
Seriati,

actually the true allegations doesn't work as well, since true allegations are almost always against serial rapists (I vaguely recall they average something like 10 rapes), whereas false allegations aren't likely to cluster.

False accusations seem likely to highly cluster in the case of allegations against persons of different race, social cast or politics from the accuser.

TheDeamon

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 11:37:18 PM »
Seriati,

actually the true allegations doesn't work as well, since true allegations are almost always against serial rapists (I vaguely recall they average something like 10 rapes), whereas false allegations aren't likely to cluster.

False accusations seem likely to highly cluster in the case of allegations against persons of different race, social cast or politics from the accuser.

Or wealth of the accused. Keep in mind a number of sexual harrassment/assault claims have been made against supervisors and other persons of wealth with a "typical resolution" in many cases being an out of court settlement for undisclosed sums and a NDA. While some may have been a Weinstein or Ailes involved, other cases involved innocent individuals where the decision was settling was the better option than fighting it.

TheDrake

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 01:33:08 PM »
Sadly, wealthy or powerful people who think they can grab people by the pussy and get away with it are not hard to find. Probably a lot easier to find than their false accusers. Monica was sexually harassed regardless of how willing she might have been. Keep your cigar in the box and you will probably be just fine.

Lower levels of power, like middle management, are probably similar. Don't say or do inappropriate things. All sexual topics are inappropriate things. All touching beyond a handshake is inappropriate. Is a company going to settle? Sadly, they probably will and they probably keep the serial douchebag around, and install remote control door locks for him.

I have never directly seen anybody accused who wasn't crossing a line - anecdotal, I know. I have seen many instances of crossing a line go unpunished.

cherrypoptart

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2018, 06:10:24 PM »
Wouldn't there be a case to be made for Monica being the sexual harasser and aggressor when she gave or showed or whatever Bill her thong? Just because you are the subordinate does that always mean you are the victim?

scifibum

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 06:23:55 PM »
It's theoretically possible for a subordinate to sexually harass the boss, sure. Bosses normally have an easier time of shutting it down without incurring negative consequences for themselves, but it could happen and it should have consequences for the harasser.

Here's the thing though: even if an underling instigates an inappropriate incident on her own (and I don't believe that's what happened with Lewinsky, but for the sake of argument) - it would still be entirely inappropriate for the boss to accept it, encourage it, or escalate it. And if he does, an employer - or an oversight body - should treat it the same as if he was the sole aggressor. Part of his job is to shut that kind of thing down immediately and take steps to prevent it from recurring.

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 04:41:03 AM »
Seriati,

actually the true allegations doesn't work as well, since true allegations are almost always against serial rapists (I vaguely recall they average something like 10 rapes), whereas false allegations aren't likely to cluster.

False accusations seem likely to highly cluster in the case of allegations against persons of different race, social cast or politics from the accuser.

Or wealth of the accused.

yes, that falls into the category of "allegations against persons of different social caste."  Classic Potiphar's wife versus Joseph on the one hand, or greedy poor seeking a windfall on the other hand.  k

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2018, 11:02:10 AM »
Here's a remarkable and telling story:

A Tanzanian woman impersonated a man ("male fraud" ;) ) in order to work in local gem mines. But after she struck it rich, some woman accused her of rape.  The miner had to reveal her actual sex to disprove the rape charge.

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39705424


TheDrake

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2018, 09:11:25 AM »
When the police came, the men who did the rape said: 'This is the man who did it,' and I was taken to the police station," Pili says.

So falsely accused, but either by the other suspects or corroborated by the suspects. No clear relationship to wealth.

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 09:52:37 AM »
Off. Ok, Drake. So you think the fact that she happened to have struck it rich just before was pure coincidence?

Have you ever even visited a third world country?

The interrogated rape gang was giving the cops what they knew the cops wanted. A suspect with deep pockets to shake down.

It’s not like rape accusations get made in a vaccuum. Biases and interests of cops, counselors, and the victim’s friends and family members affect who gets accused of the rape.

Seriati

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 10:05:06 AM »
Just a timely story on the topic https://www.foxnews.com/us/five-high-school-mean-girls-targeted-boy-with-false-accusations-of-sexual-assault-lawsuit-claims.

No idea if this vets out long term (as in there could always be more to the story).  But this is literally the Salem witch trial version of the false accusation fear. 

TheDrake

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 10:13:23 AM »
I don't know anything about the third world status of suing someone and getting their money with a false rape charge, or in your hypothesis having the cops shake someone down.

I'm not denying that this happens, of course it does. Although its usually more expedient to get the guy to impregnate the grifter than to go through rape proof. Also included is standard scandal related blackmail. Those seem much easier paths to soak out some cash than going full rape, at least in the developed world.

Other causes of false allegations historically include protection of the woman's reputation by claiming her consensual sex was not. Revenge can factor in. Or simple misunderstanding of what is happening.

Why women make false rape accusations (And why they think their accusations are true)

Regardless, the story you picked doesn't show a woman falsely accusing a man of rape, its an interesting story but I don't see it as "telling" as far as explaining any phenomenon of false rape accusations.

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 10:44:29 AM »
Were you not aware that cops solicit bribes in the Third world?  Or Did you just assume that they would conduct a rape investigation differently than they conduct any other sort of investigation?

Quote
Regardless, the story you picked doesn't show a woman falsely accusing a man of rape, its an interesting story but I don't see it as "telling" as far as explaining any phenomenon of false rape accusations.


So from your view it’s only telling if the person who picks  the false accusee is female?  So if a male victim makes an accusation, you say not relevant, but if a female counselor pressures a victim to make a rape charge, you would say not relevant?

Because I saw the topic as involving false charges of rape.  If you want a narrower discussion than the one posed on this thread, and want to only discuss why women specifically might make a false rape charge, perhaps you should start a separate “women are like that” thread.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 10:55:55 AM by Pete at Home »

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2018, 11:00:50 AM »
 Would you consider relevant that while Michael Jackson was alive, that parents who would heard the stories about him supposedly molesting kids,  were bringing their kids to play with him in hopes that they could get the opportunity to sue Jackson?

TheDrake

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2018, 11:07:32 AM »
Fair enough Pete. To me, most of the discussion has been about women making false allegations, not co-conspirators naming random people. It doesn't seem representative of the wider question of false allegations, which has largely revolved around the consequences of uncorroborated accusations.

Likewise, Seriati's story is about a group of girls conspiring to corroborate each other, which I don't think bears on this central question of "Can a woman just make a random accusation against a man and ruin his life?" as well as "How often do women do this?"

The OP centered on the "how often" question, Seriati's follow up discusses why this might go up as women are more likely to make such claims.

TheDrake

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2018, 11:23:19 AM »
I had to refresh myself on Jackson, but Chandler (the original accuser) was recorded and his primary motivation from that seems to have been getting all the cash. I'm forced to use that to highlight my earlier point - if Jackson wasn't doing something inappropriate (sleeping in a bed with a random child), he doesn't get accused or it is much weaker.

This did become a feeding frenzy, where staff started selling stories about his conduct. Surely at least some of those stories were fabricated or embellished.

Certainly any rich person can become a target for extortion, but there's a reason it was Michael Jackson and not Bill Gates.

Back to the central point, I wonder how many falsely accused are rich vs poor? I don't think you can get a reliable statistic on that, because the rich probably pay the hush money and many never get public.

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2018, 11:45:34 AM »
Ah!  Thank you for clarifying, Drake. 

I think that the problem is that we treat rape as some sort of unique outrage and consequently it inevitably turns into a political football.  Bronze age Greece unites to go to war over Helen's "rape" and the question of whether Paris obtained Helen's consent is generally deemed irrelevant.  See http://myweb.fsu.edu/jjm09f/RhetoricSpring2012/Gorgias%20Encomium%20of%20Helen.pdf

and we haven't changed that much re rape since the bronze age.  look at this forum.  Generally, whether a rape accusation is accepted or rejected depends on whether the politics of the accused matches the politics of the commentator. 

In the USA, man vs. woman has become a major political division, so there's a big push for women to "stick together" when it comes to personal protection issues.  I asked a female bartender once why she hadn't warned me that the woman I was  sitting with had a history of roofying and robbing guys, and she said she'd stayed silent because "women have to stick together."  :o  It's the same us vs. them mentality that led some Catholic clerics to cover for each other when there were allegations of molestation.

Once we recognize that our society doesn't treat rape rationally or apply the same rules of dispassionate discovery that we try to apply to other crimes, it's inevitable that we take stances on it based on who we want to please if we are weak, or on who we want to hurt if we are powerful.

A man in our society less likely to make a claim of being raped whether true or false.  Men are supposed to show themselves as actors while society (both traditional and 3rd wave feminist) objectifies women and depicts them as acted upon regardless of the facts.  So both men and women are culturally biased to believe the claim that a woman has been raped (regardless of whether that claim is made by the actual putative victim).

Take Salon Magazine's treatment of Joyce McKinney's rape of the mormon missionary in England. She admits to have brought two bodyguard types to England to help her take her ex boyfriend. One left when he found out what she had in mind.  She admits the other was armed with a gun when they took her ex boyfriend from outside the chapel. She admits they transported him to a cottage and manacled him to the bed.  But Salon (through a male writer, of course) argues that the putative victim must have consented because he had an erection because joyce couldn't have raped a "marshmellow" (non-erect penis).

Seriati

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2018, 11:51:58 AM »
Certainly any rich person can become a target for extortion, but there's a reason it was Michael Jackson and not Bill Gates.

Of course, you're assuming that a "Bill Gates" type hasn't settled claims such as this quietly.  I mean, it was not unheard in cases of powerful men - after they get publically exposed - to have had multiple settlements come to light.  I can't remember if it was Weinstein, or someone earlier, who actually had provisions in their contracts with their company that the company was responsible for settling sexual harrassment claims and could not terminate him because of them.

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2018, 11:59:33 AM »
I had to refresh myself on Jackson, but Chandler (the original accuser) was recorded and his primary motivation from that seems to have been getting all the cash. I'm forced to use that to highlight my earlier point - if Jackson wasn't doing something inappropriate (sleeping in a bed with a random child), he doesn't get accused or it is much weaker.

This did become a feeding frenzy, where staff started selling stories about his conduct. Surely at least some of those stories were fabricated or embellished.

Certainly any rich person can become a target for extortion, but there's a reason it was Michael Jackson and not Bill Gates.

Multiple reasons.  First, as you point out, Bill Gates didn't sleep with or shower with random children.  But Gates protects himself in other ways, has publicists and attorneys advise his life, and he makes massive donations to many of the specific groups that are most likely to indulge in lynchmobbery.  That's why Harvey Weinstein could get away with what he did for so long.  The Catholic church is far from the only organization to protect its own.  The only reason why we know so much about the Catholic scandals is that Catholicism has loud and powerful enemies.

Pete at Home

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2018, 12:08:16 PM »
Certainly any rich person can become a target for extortion, but there's a reason it was Michael Jackson and not Bill Gates.

Of course, you're assuming that a "Bill Gates" type hasn't settled claims such as this quietly.

I'm not sure Drake's assuming that... having powerful defenders and actually following their advice (which Jackson did not) is one of several points which distinguish Jackson from Gates in this matter.

There's also the blood in the water issue.  After one public claim (whether true or not) other claims (whether true or not) will inevitably follow.  Cosby, Weinstein, Jackson ...

Seriati

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2018, 12:49:52 PM »
Pete, my point was that Gates may have more settlements than Jackson had claims.  We don't know how often someone rich is targeted, and how effective they are at "making it go away."   Bill Gates has a LOT of potential behind the scenes power, MJ had almost none - he'd even managed to alienate many of his natural defenders before this point, with his odd behaviors, general withdrawal and constant body modification.

Didn't we just see in the Asia Argento situation, that her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain had automatically acted to settle and cover up the accusations of the under aged boy.  If that's routine behavior of the rich and powerful (which I assume it is) it'd make it almost impossible to parse who is under the most fire.  I mean heck Congress gets this stuff settled by the taxpayer with mandatory secrecy - not clear how that's survived Me Too.

TheDrake

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Re: False allegations of rape - lifetime risk of accussation
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2018, 01:11:00 PM »
Quote
Of course, you're assuming that a "Bill Gates" type hasn't settled claims such as this quietly.

Actually, I stipulated that they do, or at least may. :)

Quote
Back to the central point, I wonder how many falsely accused are rich vs poor? I don't think you can get a reliable statistic on that, because the rich probably pay the hush money and many never get public.

For all I know, Gates is a hidden Weinstein and is just so rich he can buy everyone off successfully. Or resorted to threats so nasty as to make the person think better of the plan.

There is the "public image" part of this, and I agree. If people see you use your wealth to rid the world of Malaria, they are going to give you more benefit of the doubt than if you fill a personal zoo with exotic animals.

It is also true that the "Anita Hill" effect is not in play with Michael Jackson. Women who are sexually harassed who elect not only to accuse, but keep the job because of the damage to their career if they step forward. I agree with that point, Seriati, virtually no one is going to keep quiet for what MJ can do for their career.