Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Comment on "The College Rape Overcorrection"

Slate comment on article "The College Rape Overcorrection"

In response to:

"I just did the math.
The odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 3,000.
The odds of being falsely accused of rape are somewhere on the order of 1 in 2,000,000."

I posted:

Odds of Becoming a Lightning Victim (based on averages for 2004-2013)

Odds of being struck in your lifetime (Est. 80 years)
1/12,000

For false rape accusations hard numbers are difficult to come by. Here is a paper summarizing some research that has been done on the topic. In the survey of previous research, numbers are given that range from 3% to around 10% of reported rapes.

Using the low number (3%) and multiplying by the UCR reported rapes figure (about 85,000 in 2010) we get around 2500 false rape reports per year.

Finally, using the census data to approximate around 100 million men in the US over the age of 14, and multiplying by 66 to normalize to an 80 year lifetime, we get: (2500 / 100,000,000) = 5 in 200,000 per year chance of being falsely accused. Multiplied by 66 = 330/200000, or around a 1 in 600 chance of being falsely accused of rape in your lifetime, if you are male. Naturally if you are female your chances of being falsely accused of rape are certainly much much smaller.

Recap: 1/12000 lifetime chance of being struck by lightning. 1/600 lifetime chance of being falsely accused of rape, if male.