Thursday, July 8, 2010

False Allegations

Some numbers from Radar:
A review of 556 rape accusations filed against Air Force personnel found that 27% of women later recanted. Then 25 criteria were developed based on the profile of those women, and then submitted to three independent reviewers to review the remaining cases. If all three reviewers deemed the allegation was false, it was categorized as false. As a result, 60% of all allegations were found to be false. Of those women who later recanted, many didn't admit the allegation was false until just before taking a polygraph test. Others admitted it was false only after having failed a polygraph test.

In a nine-year study of 109 rapes reported to the police in a Midwestern city, Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin reported that in 41% of the cases the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred.

In a follow-up study of rape claims filed over a three-year period at two large Midwestern universities, Kanin found that of 64 rape cases, 50% turned out to be false.4 Among the false charges, 53% of the women admitted they filed the false claim as an alibi.

According to a 1996 Department of Justice report, “in about 25% of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI, ... the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. It should be noted that rape involves a forcible and non-consensual act, and a DNA match alone does not prove that rape occurred. So the 25% figure substantially underestimates the true extent of false allegations.
To be fair, it is hard to get cold hard facts on how often false allegations happen. This seems to be the best we got.


  1. Feckless, I'd be curious to se what these studies reported in the way of female-on-female sexual assault. Many service women rpeort that it was always the lesbians that they were really afraid of. I would not be surprised to see that the study did not even address or mention the matter.

  2. "This seems to be the best we got."

    I don't agree.

    Two literature reviews I do recommend are Rumney and Bryden and Lengnick.

  3. Keep in mind that contrary to popular belief, the polygraph test is too unreliable to be useful.