Men’s Rights Don’t Include Blaming Women for Rape

According to Men’s Rights Edmonton, “that girl” is a woman who has consensual sex that she later falsely reports as rape, in order to cope with emergent feelings of regret or shame. The sentiment rests on a commonly held belief in the men’s rights community — namely, that countless women are hell-bent on ruining the lives of former sexual partners by falsely reporting them to the police as rapists. Proponents of this argument are fond of citing a statistic from a 1994 study by Professor Eugene Kanin that determined 41 per cent of rape reports to a Midwestern U.S. police agency over a nine-year period were false. If this number were credible, that would indeed be a sorry state of affairs.

Thankfully, Kanin’s study has been thoroughly debunked [pdf] as lacking any kind of methodological rigour. He simply took police officers’ determinations at face value, rather than following the standard academic practice of actually investigating these determinations and analyzing them in context. His sample was also a piddling 109 cases — not a large enough sample size to hang one’s hat on, really. Rigorous studies put the percentage of false reports anywhere between 2-8 per cent (some studies have put it as low as 0.6 per cent), which is less than the number of falsely reported auto thefts. Yet do we question the credibility and, indeed, the sanity of people who report their cars stolen?

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