2012-11-22

Forcible rape

Remember that hullaballoo with Paul Ryan refining rape as forcible rape? How we chuckled and snickered and rolled our eyes.

While I think Mittens and Ryan are reality impaired crazies, it turns out Ryan was just being precise. Yeah, I KNOW!

So, here's the deal: the FBI compiles statistics on crime from law enforcement agencies every year. FBI's stats for 2011.

The FBI divides crime into major and sub categories: Violent Crime is a major category and Murder, Robbery, Aggravated Assault and Forcible Rape are its subcategories.

The FBI definition of forcible rape:
Forcible rape ... is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.
...
Sexual attacks on males are counted as aggravated assaults or sex offenses, depending on the circumstances and the extent of any injuries.

Who knows what the hell carnal knowledge is, but perhaps Paul Ryan should count himself lucky that he didn't adopt this term. Given FBI's crime stats, and its terminology, it seems that maybe Ryan wasn't quite the asshat I thought he was. Which makes me wonder what other disingenuous outrage I've been fed. The practice of purposely misunderstanding certainly appears to curry more favor than making one's case. What If I am all wrong about the reality impaired crazy thing because I AM BEING LIED TO by media I trust?

Some fun facts from the FBI about 2011:
Forcible rape accounted for 6.9 percent of all violent crimes.

Weapons data is not collected for forcible rape (it's collected for all other violent crimes).

Violent crime and rape is decreasing. The 2011 estimated violent crime total was 15.4 percent below the 2007 level and 15.5 percent below the 2002 level. The forcible rape estimate was 2.5 percent lower than the 2010 estimate and 9.5 percent and 12.4 percent lower than the 2007 and 2002 estimates, respectively.

Men cannot be forcibly raped, just assaulted (just in case you missed that part.)

Out of all violent crimes reported in 2011:
62.4 percent were aggravated assaults,
29.4 were robberies,
6.9 percent were rapes, and
1.2 percent were murders.

47.7 percent of all violent crimes were cleared*, by category:
Aggravated assaults: 56.9 percent,
Robbery: 28.7 percent,
Forcible rape: 41.2 percent,
Murder 64.8

The Problem of False Rape Allegations
In 1996 the FBI reported that the occurrence of false reports for all crime was 2% and for forcible rape 8%. I can't find the numbers for 2011, perhaps they're available in the downloadable materials. The FBI did, however, publish a concerned article in August 2012 about false rape allegations. The article gives the impression of significant and urgent problems, but of 4 references only one is recent, 2012, the rest are more than ten years old. The authors of the article are coincidentally also the authors of that most recent reference. There are no statistics whatsoever in the article.

It does state that (even though)
[a] limited number of studies have focused on false allegation adult crimes, with the majority of research addressing cases of rape and to a lesser degree stalking
:

  • most false reports are filed by women,
  • all this false reporting costs a lot of time and money,
  • the occurrence of false reports make it harder for real victims to be taken seriously, and
  • while the are several reasons for false reports, women do
    It for attention, and
  • while attention seeking also drives men
    [men] tend to opt for nonsexual offenses, such as physical assault or attempted murder
    .

The article doesn't explain how it can draw such significant conclusions from a limited number of studies, nor does it comment on the fact that men cannot be raped (only assaulted), which would seem to explain why women do most of the false reporting with regards to rape and stalking and why men about assault.

* Cleared means that the case was closed because an arrest was made, or someone was charged, or the case was turned over to a court for persecution (or enough evidence existed for one of the above but it couldn't be completed because the suspect died or some such thing). Cleared doesn't mean that anyone was found guilty.

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