Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's common sense: women can and do lie about rape

This Web site has discussed in considerable detail the various studies showing the prevalence of false rape claims. See, e.g., our recent article posted on Glenn Sacks' blog. Every serious study ever conducted on the subject shows that it is a significant problem. Every one. It is a proven fact: women can and do lie about rape.

But isn't it common sense that women lie about rape? While the studies unequivocally put this issue to rest, isn't the answer intuitive? And doesn't it insult one's intelligence to hear that women don't lie about rape -- as much as all of us would like that to be true?

For a long time and even still today, feminist legal scholars have insisted that only two percent of rape claims are false. That has been completely debunked,, but the canard is still cited to implement all manner of double standards in the law and in our public policy to make it easier to convict rapists. The trouble is, we've made it easier than ever to snage rapists but we are snagging too many of the good guys with them, more than for any other crime.

We should have suspected the two percent claim was nonsense even without the benefit of the false rape studies. It is, in fact, absurd on it face. This, therefore, is a cautionary tale about the dangers of checking our common sense at the front door: if a thing seems ridiculous, it probably is.

Here is the common sense of it: women can and do lie about rape.

Everyone agrees that people of both genders lie about everything under the sun for all manner of reasons, good, bad and indifferent -- except, according to some feminists, when it comes to rape. In that singular instance, mirabile dictu, one gender is incapable of telling a lie while the other is incapable of telling anything but lies. The very discussion of rape becomes a sort of truth serum for women, a magic elixir that forces anyone not possessing a Y-chromosome to utter incontrovertible fact.

Is this in any sense plausible to a fair-minded person? The question scarcely survives its statement.

It is a fact that women lie more about rape than other crimes. The FBI says four times more false rape claims are made than other crimes. The Politics of Sexuality, Barry M. Dank, Editor in Chief, Vol. 3 at 36, n. 8. This is logical because this crime is so easy to lie about. The very physical act that constitutes the alleged crime is precisely the same act that has been performed countless times every minute of every day of every year since the beginning of time the world over -- as an act of love, an act of procreation. To transmogrify this most fundamental human act into a claim of rape, all a woman needs to do is recharacterize it as nonconsensual. That's it.

The vast majority of women would never do that, just as the vast majority of men would never rape, but for various reasons, some women risk the potential hardships of falsely crying rape, just as some men risk the far more serious potential hardships of raping. From his rape studies, Professor Eugene Kanin classified women's motives for lying about rape: false claims serve the need to garner attention/sympathy, to get revenge, and provide a motive for an illicit sexual encounter. Other experts say that ex post facto regret is a motive as well.

The one area connected with rape where women don't lie is when they recant, the feminists maintain.

Get it? Any assertion to convict a male of rape is to be believed; any assertion to the contrary is to be disbelieved.

Must be wonderful to live in a world without any nuance -- without the need to concern oneself with little things like, oh, facts and justice and right or wrong. You see, the "greater good" trumps all those minor points: the necessity to get more rape convictions, however they can be gotten, and even if we snag some innocent men and boys along the way.

In any event, the remarkable thing is not that women lie about rape but that there are not many more false claims, given the ease with which they are made and the absence of significant punishment for them.