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goo  ·  2133 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: An Unbelievable Story of Rape

Interesting read. Rape and sexual assault are my particular fields of interest in the social sciences. I'm still undecided to how I feel about such detailed articles; this level of rape is uncommon. I worry it perpetuates the stereotype that all rapists are sick in the head when really, this is not the case. Since it is literally something I could discuss all day, some awesome TED talks on the subject can be found here and here and here and here.

I have a couple other problems with this article, however. The biggest being:

    Between one-fourth to two-thirds of rapists are serial attackers, studies show.

Well, that is a pretty broad range: between 25% and 66%. As well, I can't recall hearing this statistic before in an academic setting. Clicking on the highlighted "serial attackers" link takes you to this page which is another can of worms entirely, but is a dead-end in terms of serial rapist stats.

So I did some googling. RAINN claims that "rapists are more likely to be a serial criminal than a serial rapist." I also came up with this Al Jazeera America article, as well as this Slate article. Both of which cite this 2002 study.

Which, honestly, is way more interesting. Reading through the results section (pg 78) gives us our 2/3 number. However, some of their data is over 20 years old, and the samples were taken from a single "mid-sized, urban commuter university." No way is this generalizable to the population. And perhaps we will never know, because sensitive topics are insanely difficult to survey. Regardless, I highly encourage a read-through of the discussion (pg 80) at the very least, as I think it gives a little more context to the story posted.

As well, this:

    FBI figures show that police annually declare around 5 percent of rape cases unfounded, or baseless.

A baseless accusation does not mean it is false. Simply because there is no proof does not mean it is a lie.