Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reduce false rape claims: teach girls that remorse is both a common feeling after a fling and a common motive for false rape claims

We recently reported on the case of Charlotte Lane, the teen whose rape lie led to the arrest of another teen. It turns out Ms. Lane and the male teen had consensual sex. She was sentenced to detention for 20 weeks.

Her attorney explained, in words that ought to be written on the walls of every rape counseling center, not to mention every high school and college: ". . . she made up the allegation as an 'expression of regret' for having had sex with the man, failing to see that regret was not the same as a lack of consent."

Did you get that? In fact, regret (or remorse) is both a common emotion for young women following one-night stands and a common motive for false rape claims.

Men and women view casual sex differently, and women feel remorse more than men following one-night stands. A recent study shows how common remorse is for women following one-night stands: "Overall women’s feelings were more negative than men’s [about one-night stand casual sex]. Eighty per cent of men had overall positive feelings about the experience compared to 54 per cent of women. . . . . The predominant negative feeling reported by women was regret at having been 'used'. Women were also more likely to feel that they had let themselves down and were worried about the potential damage to their reputation if other people found out. Women found the experience less sexually satisfying and, contrary to popular belief, they did not seem to view taking part in casual sex as a prelude to long-term relationships."

Moreover, one of the common motives cited by experts for false rape claims is "remorse after an impulsive sexual fling . . . ." Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, S. Taylor, K.C. Johnson at 375 (2007).

Virtually all rape education is directed at young men since modern feminism teaches that to suggest women should play a role in rape prevention is tantamount to "victim blaming."

But what about prevention of false rape claims? Isn't it important to teach girls (and boys) that remorse is a common feeling for women after impulsive sex, and that it's also a common motive that triggers false rape claims? Don't young women have the right to know beforehand how they are likely to feel after-the-fact? And don't boys have the right to be warned that impulsive, first-time sex is a breeding ground for false rape claims?

Knowledge of the prevalence of remorse, and that remorse leads to false rape claims, might provide some incentive for both young women and men to more carefully consider whether they should engage in sex; at the very least, an understanding that remorse is a natural byproduct of one-night stands (for women) would help young women understand the source of their post-intercourse anger and, perhaps, keep them from misdirecting that anger at their sex partner.

A wise man once told me that the truth can never hurt us. Sadly, certain truths about rape and false rape claims are withheld from our young people simply because some adults with a political agenda are intent on perpetuating a cult of female victimhood. And sadly, that is the truth.