The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Over half of all reported rapes are likely false

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 477 times Debate No: 86622
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




Round 1. Acceptance
Round 2-4. Arguments and rebuttals.
Round 5. Closing argument with no rebuttals.

I believe that there is now mounting evidence which suggest that false reporting of rape is indeed very high. The lack of thorough studies and societal will to explore the real extent of false rape reports notwithstanding, there are already many in-depth studies by independent judges and prosecutors which conclusively show that reported rapes to the police are fraught with false claims, very much more so than reports of other crimes. There are many police testimonies from experts working with sex-crimes willing to vouch for the appalling number of such cases. The studies and compelling police testimonies I'll provide will count for the "empirical" arguments in this debate.

I will also go through some cultural, legal, sociological and demographic arguments. As a caveat, these arguments should not be viewed as hard proof evidence from which you can extrapolate any figure, which is more of what the empirical data is for. They do however provide an explanation - much of which are simply discounted by academia - that could help explain and put the empirical data in perspective. Thus, the empirical data will be used to prove the proposition while the non-empirical arguments are used to verify the validity of the empirical data. For example, if police records say women make false rape charges because of let's say attention, then the "non-empirical" will show that there are good evidence suggesting that there are behavioural tendencies displayed among certain segments of the female population of attention-seeking or borderline behaviour. There is no casual relationship between attention-seeking behaviour and "half of all allegations are false" and hence this is no supporting argument. Rather in this hypothetical example this piece of "evidence" is an attempt to prove that there is some truth to the documented records in this case. I just want to make that very clear so as to not cause any further misunderstandings over the course of this debate.

I expect my opponent not to use any shaming tactics or ad-hominem attacks in which case I will urge voters to take this into consideration when casting your vote. If this debate will end up offending your sensibilities and if you can't deal with it in a rational manner, then don't accept this debate.

I'm looking forward to a rational debate of this complex and controversial subject and I wish my opponent good luck.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Now to start off with, rape is a crime that is very hard to prove in that you'll have to prove that consent was not given. Feminists and miscellaneous policy makers would like you to believe that cases of rape not being forwarded for prosecution or cases not ending with a punitive outcome, then this is proof of "rapists" not serving their due time. This simplistic way of putting it does injustice to evidence and some reasonable objections which prove this is a very dubious claim from the other side.

As can be suspected, from an institutional level and from academia there is a blatantly biased view towards the assumption of presumed guilt of the accused. We have seen time and again bogus statistics with patently flawed methodologies being used to arrive at figures swaying far from reality, such as the "1 in 5 women will be raped in college campuses", that have been thoroughly debunked again and again, nevertheless being used by policy makers as a source of reference when making new legislation(1). It reeks of a problem that runs deep on an institutional level eloquently put by Pennsylvania State Law Professor Philip Jenkins who described the pervasive perception that women don't lie about rape among feminists and feminist "jurisprudence" as an "unchallengeable orthodoxy" (2).

A clear-cut example of this institutional attitude is much evident at the workplace where men have now started to assess and read the landscape in order to avoid being on the receiving end of a false indictment of sexual harassment because of which they would wind up having their careers in shambles. Men have decided to respond in kind by not befriending women, not helping women out - not even opening doors for women. Many go so far as to avoid being one-on-one with women in the same room or closing the office door, all in an attempt to cover themselves by having third-party witnesses "present". Ironically at the end of the day it ends up actually biting women in the rear end by not allowing them to advance in the workplace, getting the help they need, developing contacts, etc (3).

This bizarre outlining of today's America might seem to be taken from some outlandish 1984, dystopian type novel. It's real and happening because of the culturally pervasive notion that lies about these sexual matters are rare.

Yet what do institutions and feminist-oriented academia really care to know about false rape accusations? Why isn't there any research into the connection between rape and rape fantasies that over 90% of women have had and that even one-third to two-thirds indulge in occasionally (4)? It ultimately begs the question of whether women engineer or steer encounters in that direction so as to simulate raped or entice the feeling of being raped albeit in a controlled environment. In the current hook-up culture in which women are encouraged to explore their sexuality, guys can be led on to things that women give a black check to and later regret. In fact, there are evolutionary reasons as to why women regret casual sexual encounters, much more so than do men. (5)

Police not only identifies sexual regrets but mental illness and sociopathy as potential causes for women making false claims. 85% of people suffering from borderline personality disorder, BPD, are women and BPD affects 5.9 percent of the US adult population at some point in their life. Doing the math using official figures from 2014, that would mean that about 12.3 million of US women suffer from BPD (6)(7). BPD is characterized by an inability to properly regulate mood, thoughts and self-image which can result in reckless and impulsive behaviours - and that's only counting BPD. There are many more psychiatric disorders among women of which the connections to making false claims, either of harassment or forcible rape, has not even been attempted to be answered by feminist academia or by institutions.

Then what credence can we lend the institutions aimed at combating sexual violence happening to women when the occurrence of false rape - the lion share of which affects men - are not seriously looked into? I say we give them none. There is a but for the sake of abridging references we can focus on psychiatric disorders and rape fantasies. Police and district attorneys who work with sex crimes are certainly well aware that there is a link. Because of the inept attitude society has in exploring what is actually going on, it inextricably falls in the lap of those said people.

When the US Air Force's Office of Special Investigations headed by Dr. Charles McDowell investigated rape cases of Airforce personnel on Air force bases throughout the world. 556 cases were forwarded and out of those 256 owing to ambiguity they could not verify rape. The remaining 300 cases were then looked at and out of those 27% were false, either due to recantation or because of deceptive results from the polygraph tests. Subsequently he developed a 35 criteria listing traits common among those had made false claims. Three independent judges later reviewed the remaining cases using this criterion. Only when they unanimously agreed did they determine a false claim. At the end of the day, the false rape allegation rate was 60%. (2)

It's these gray areas that are usually left out. In this case a proper investigation was made into these gray areas where evidence was not clear and the rate went drastically up.

Another study looked at 109 cases of forcible rape that in one small Midwestern city of 70,000 denizens between 1978 and 1987. This particular city was selected because the police department wasn't overly burdened with police cases and thus had the means to effectively go thoroughly through these cases in-depth. Among one of the procedural precautions was to not use police discretion to clear a complaint even if they suspected it was unfounded. The accuser was then asked to take a polygraph test. Upon being asked to complete the test, the declaration of a false allegation could only be made when the accuser spilled the beans and conceded that no rape had occurred. 41% of the accusers admitted to it being false. (8).

Take note that the allegations were ONLY counted as false when the accusers themselves eventually admitted to their false charges. Hence, 41% represents if anything a rock solid floor. Furthermore, going out on a slight conjectural limb here, because the research was carried out in a small metropolitan area rather than in an anonymous city wherein criminality and unscrupulous behaviour are far more prevalent, it would not be unreasonable to suppose that the country's average rate would be higher.

During a follow-up study a similar analysis was used to conduct investigations of all the cases of forcible rapes over a three-year period at two large Midwestern universities. Polygraph tests were not of the procedure, yet 50% of the complaints were found to be false. 53% of those cases were cited as the accuser needing an alibi(8).

What's a sign of good qualitative research are the conservative approaches use by both Kanin and McDowell to ensure that they rather have an undercount than an overcount.

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". The DNA exclusion rate remained constant over several years. Also, 20% were found to be questionable if DNA was added. National Institute of Justice's survey of private laboratories also demonstrated consistent with FBI numbers a DNA exclusion rate of 26%. (2)

I also argue that it appears to to have become more socially acceptable by women to make fails allegations of a sexual nature, rape included. (to the point where men have read this trend and responded accordingly). Here are thirteen random examples of varyingly different reasons of false rape claims (9). Three girls made a joint statement against a homeless man because they feared they would be punished for being late to school(10). 13(!) women made a joint rape accusation against a boy because they perceived him to be a "player"(11). Reading these cases shows how women go to extreme lengths to incriminate men, fabricate evidence, self-inflict wounds, etc. Despite years of imbuing the the seriousness of rape in the public consciousness, it does not seem to have gone through to these women.

In summary of this round, looking at the studies (more studies and police and prosecutor testimonies will be presented in next round), already presented problem with the "sexual harassment industry" due to cultural push to want to believe women"s stories, the unaccounted factors and the fact that it is becoming more socially acceptable for women to file false claims, it already points to the likelihood of over half of all rape allegations being false. There's more where that came from in the next round.



Re: Wording of the resolution

The resolution is worded like this -

"Over half of all reported rapes are likely false"

Technically, the way this is phrased indicates that Pro's claim is that the rapes themselves are false, as opposed to the reports. What is a false rape? I don't know. Anyway, I'm not going to argue something cheesy along those lines, and I'm going to interpret the resolution to mean the following -

"Over half of all rape reports are likely false"

This, I believe, best reflects Pro's intended claim, but Pro did not clearly communicate his intended claim for whatever reason.

Re: Distractions

Pro discusses many topics while making his case, including feminism, alleged bias in favor of rape accusers, bogus statistics, flawed methodologies, male anxiety regarding potential allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, psychiatric disorders, rape fantasies, and evolutionary reasons explaining why some women regret casual encounters. This debate is not about those issues. Those issues are distractions. This debate is about one issue and one issue only: Whether or not over half of all rape reports are likely false.

Re: Studies indicating that over half of all rape reports are likely false

My opponent presents two studies in his favor. My opponent cites, indirectly through an article, the McGowen and Kanin studies. Without getting in to study methodologies and the like, I argue that my opponent is cherry picking - "the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position." ( ) It is more reasonable to look at the totality of the evidence on the subject, and the evidence in this case is conclusions from studies. Fortunately, this was already done by Philip Rumney in 2006 in an article of the Cambridge Law Journal. Pertinently, Rumney made the following table: (Pages 10 & 11)

As can seen from the table, the totality of the studies presented in this debate, even when considering my opponent's cited studies, strongly suggest that it is unlikely that over half of all rape reports are false. I suggest using the number of cases in each individual study as a relevant factor when weighing the significance of each study, all other things being equal. I do not find it necessary to critique the methodologies of the McGowen and Kanin studies at this point, but if it becomes necessary I will.

Debate Round No. 2


I_am_Spartacus forfeited this round.


Pass, though I must point out that the McGowen study I referred to in the prior round was actually the McDonnel study.
Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for equalizing the debate by holding off his comment. Voters can of course right it off on my conduct.

For starters, yes, the way I phrased resolution can be misleading as my opponent pointed out. If a rape reported to the police is false then obviously the purported rape is negated, so to that effect they're both wrong. However, my intention with the wording of the motion is to argue that rapes as they are purported to have happened by the accuser when filing a report to police can be false either due to malevolent purposes, i.e. for some type of gain, but can also include women regretting an intercourse and later feeling guilty or as if they have been raped. The definition of forcible rape is pretty straightforward and if a woman believes that consent can be revoked in that type of sense, then whether it's because she's an buffoon or a c*nt doesn't really matter, it's a false accusation nonetheless.

Police finding that women using regret as a basis for filing a false report is a common occurrence. Again, because of the lack of proper research we can only speculate at this point how common these are and to what degree they contribute to the reporting of false rape. I've tried to show that there is a biological basis for casual regrets. There is also a yearning for many women, as I've shown, to fantasize about rough sex or "simulated rape" as I call it. The effect these two factors have on incidences of false allegations is of course not firmly established as of yet.

As for the different issues I raised, there is of course a very serious accusation by academia to blame police officers for "victim blaming" or being too harsh on accusers of rape when there has been no concerted effort by academia to properly investigate the occurrence of false rape and the different factors that might play into it. As for what sexual harassment is concerned, I tried to find some studies that highlight the false rate and many studies point to there being between 30-60%.

As for the studies my opponent has presented, most of these don't hold any water simply because, as the authors note in their paper, there is just too little information on the methodologies used in the majority of these studies. The fact that there is a huge grey-area in which crimes are "no-crime" labelled when the evidence is unsubstantiated, the complainant withdraws her allegation and evidence don't match up, the police will drop the investigation. Unfounded rape, otherwise known as false rape, is only labelled so by the police when the complainant admit so herself (note that it's overwhelmingly a "her" because of the vanishingly small number of men that report rape, hence the absence of proper data).

The only paper whose methodology is sound is that of Kanin and the author of that said paper admits to that. I also highlighted other studies in my previous round that are more credible.


This debate is about whether or not over half of all rape reports are likely false. Only in the last 2 paragraphs of his round 4 response does my opponent discuss the relevant evidence. The prior paragraphs are not relevant.

I generally challenge as unsubstantiated each and every fact asserted by Pro in the last 2 paragraphs of his round 4 response. As my opponent cites no sources, my opponent's factual assertions and corresponding conclusions should be disregarded unless and until my opponent substantiates them. The burden of proof is on Pro, as Pro is the one making the claim here. Unsubstantiated factual allegations should not be taken seriously.

Debate Round No. 4


I_am_Spartacus forfeited this round.


Pro's evidence is inferior to mine, Pro has forfeited multiple times, and Pro hasn't substantiated any of the relevant assertions in his rebuttal. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Death23 8 months ago
ok I will post a pass in a few days
Posted by I_am_Spartacus 8 months ago
sorry I missed that one. Time delay and all.
Posted by Death23 8 months ago
The following article discusses both of the studies you cited:

I encourage you to review it.
Posted by Death23 8 months ago
What you think of these stats mate?

Posted by I_am_Spartacus 8 months ago
Sure, no problem
Posted by Death23 8 months ago
Alright, well I'll write something up tomorrow but I will hold off on posting it until the last second. If it isn't too much to ask, I would ask that you hold off on posting your following response. The reason is that I'm going to be out of town this weekend and won't get back until Friday.
Posted by I_am_Spartacus 8 months ago
Because I already had it covered, so I thought, I postponed it to the day only to find oiut I wanted some changes made. I was up 3:40 am writing this and doing some heavy reading. and now she's 8:30 and I'm off for work.
Posted by I_am_Spartacus 8 months ago
There were a few points I wanted to add and some alterations made. Hey, I'm not gonna be that easy on you ;)
Posted by Death23 8 months ago
Why did you wait until the last second to post your round. You had that content from your other debates. You didn't have to wait for days to post it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Garbanza 7 months ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear win to Con. Conduct because of multiple forfeits. Most of Pro's comments were irrelevant to the resolution, and his evidence of false reports was weak. Perhaps he had enough to back up a position that some rape reports are false, but the resolution was for over half, and he did not demonstrate this. Con's data showed convincingly that it is unlikely that over half of reports of rape are false. Pro's criticism of the methodology does not help his case because he had BoP.