Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Amidst replies to a post elsewhere regarding rape, a discussion arose.
Since this deals with rape, let's set out a baseline:

1. Rape is bad.
2. Nobody raped was "asking for it".
3. In what is purely MHO, the penalty for a first-time offense should be rather simple:
nothing more or less than what was done to Mel Gibson's character in the last 10 minutes or so of Braveheart (not including a visit by Sophie Marceau).

What follows may offend or annoy some people, so just in case one of them is you, refer to 1-3 above in case you get confused or upset.

What sparked my comments was the contention that "reported rapes are only 10% of the actual total" or words to that effect, oft-repeated in many other contexts.

Which is, quite simply and categorically utter bullshit.

For comparison, please let me know how many fish a fisherman didn't catch.
Follow up with the number of deer a hunter didn't shoot.
Conclude with the total number of home runs all major league baseball players didn't hit, from 1900-2013, inclusive.

That's what the number or percentage of "unreported rapes" totals up to be:
absolutely unknowable with existing technology.
(Unless somebody surveys enough women to get a statistically valid sample of actual rape victims - tens of thousands of women to get say 1200-1500 or so victims - and then determines how many of them reported it or not, and then factors out how many of the non-reporters and/or reporters were lying about the allegations, which brings us to...)

But wait! There's more!

I observed, based on my anecdotal experience, that probably 90% of the allegations of rape that are actually made are bullshit as well.

Note that I'm not arguing that my experience is so comprehensive that it must be that way everywhere at all times. Anything but. What I am saying is that when I started in emergency medicine as a nurse, I assumed someone alleging she'd been raped, had in fact been so mistreated.

And then watched "rape" after "rape" turn out to be:
daughter caught coming in late by parents, throwing BF under bus;
girl caught by BF, throwing BF-du-noir under bus;
girl deciding upon sober reflection that she really didn't like last night's hook-up, so she must have been raped;
GF who'd been dumped by BF despite make-up sex deciding to throw ex-BF under bus;
and numerous other permutations on the theme.

To the point that less than 1/10th of the allegations were sustained for longer than 2 hours, even as we went through all the proper steps and treated it as legit. And time and again, was recanted by the supposed victim, within a few minutes to a half-an-hour's gentle and tender interview by (mostly female, but not entirely so) police officers and detectives detailed to speak with the victim by the local constabulary. As opposed to, say, confessions beaten out of them with rubber hoses. Who, in most instances once the truth came out, politely closed their notebooks, and left to file their reports.

The first instance, frankly, shocked the crap out of me. I wouldn't have imagined it under any circumstance. I'm certainly not happy about it having happened, even now after having done this much digging around over it. The next one or two dozen generally just rise to the level of pique that someone's drama queenery would waste valuable time and resources. And I can't un-see what I've seen firsthand. So if the reality upsets you, twist your panties the other way back until the pain stops.

Now is that universal? I don't know. It's anecdotal, not peer-reviewed research.
It's possible that I saw the only 20 or so rape fakers in the county because I'm lucky like that, and they only came in on my shifts.

Do unreported rapes occur? Certainly.
How many? I have no effing clue.
And neither do you, nor does anyone else, nor can they, ever.

So how many times do women falsely allege rape? Well, going back to the Book of Genesis, I recall at least two examples. Then there was the McMartin Preschool trials Inquisition, followed by Tawana Brawley, and the Duke University lacrosse team case. So it's a number upwards of five, so far. Those three cases could be the only times in history that the claims were demonstrably false, and somehow, serendipitously, all managed to land on top of the news pile at the time. Sh'yeah, when monkeys fly outta my butt.

But how many allegations are false, really?
No clue anywhere on God's green earth.
The Sisterhood certainly doesn't like to talk about that. It undercuts the meme that we live in an oppressively misogynist rape culture. (We know this must be true, because all men have penises. Which is the same reason every one with a gun always robs banks, and everyone with a lighter sets buildings on fire.)

So, TPTB go along with this line of b.s., lest the shrieking and caterwauling begin in earnest, and everybody parrots the "90% of rapes are unreported" line. And does nothing to document how many times allegations are false. They don't even want to know the actual number, and it's politically incorrect to even ask.

Nota bene that I'm not talking about the times when rape is alleged, but there is insufficient evidence, and it devolves to little more than he-said/she-said. I'm sure that happens, as in any crime.

But there is clearly a non-zero number of times where a woman has, and will, decide to play the rape card, when none has occurred, and she and the accused both know it for a metaphysical certainty.

The problem in the McMartin case, for those of you unfamiliar, too young, or so old you've forgotten it, was when the basic and overriding assumption was "Children would never lie." Thus the mere allegation is tantamount to proof of guilt.

Except I've been a child, and been around children, both as a kid, a daycare worker, and an adult medical professional. And the truth we all know is, kids lie like the little shits they (we) are, for any number of reasons, from the practical to the sublime. It is one of the skills no parent ever had to sit down and explain how to pull off to any child since Cain.

It took dozens of similar trials to beat that level of stupidity out of the justice system for the most part. But for rape, it's still there. Didn't anyone see To Kill A Mockingbird, for fuck's sake??

But so what? Women lie about rape sometimes.

So this: Pentagon releases 2011 report on military sexual assault.

In FY2010, there were 3,158 total reports of sexual assault in the military.  The DOD estimates that this number only represents 13.5% of total assaults in 2010, making the total number of military rapes and sexual assaults in excess of 19,000 for FY 2010.


"In excess of 19,000 sexual assaults for FY 2010"??
There were only 203,695 women in the military in 2010. Total. All four services. So that means that virtually 1 in 10 was sexually assaulted that year. It makes one wonder how the military found any time to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what with all the raping and assaulting that must certainly have been going on. Extrapolated over a 4 year term of service, it means nearly one woman in three is raped or assaulted in the military. (Or some poor woman is getting far more than her share of unwanted attentions.) And the DoD and the Service Women's Action Network said it on the Internet, so it must be true, right?

But waitanotherdamnminute!
According to the US Dept. of Justice and the FBI, the rate of sexual violence against women in 2010 outside the military was 1.1 per thousand completed, and 2.1 per 1000 attempted.
So somehow, the military, despite screening out drug users and criminals, has managed to have a rate of sexual assault nearly 100 times higher than what the national average is in a population that includes literally every miscreant in society. Seems logical. NOT.

Somehow also, the military rapists have not created any such tell-tale spike of sexual violence perpetrated against the women outside the military, at dozens of towns outside bases, posts, airfield, and navy ports. (Unless we want to just go ahead and assume that 100% of those rapes aren't reported either. Stop me when this level of "science" approaches the level of arguments for anthropogenic global warming.) Then again, if not for the fact that I've been in the military, we could also think this must be because the women in the military are so much more attractive than their civilian counterparts.

Service Women's Action Network further decries the fact that the military only took 529 of those 3,158 sexual assault reports to trial at courts-martial. Ignoring the number that may have been dealt with by non-judicial punishment, let's look at that a little deeper.

Possibility A)
The military is peopled by thousands of rapists, even serial rapists, such that they would basically have to be recruiting from the sexual offenders wing at every state prison just to maintain such a steady supply, and senior leadership thinks that much rape is a good thing for order and discipline, otherwise they'd have prosecuted all 3,158 allegations, and fostered an atmosphere where the other 16,000 or so victims wouldn't hesitate to come forward.
Possibility B)
A vast majority of the assumed (based on zero facts and a boatload of biases) 16,000 imaginary assaults never happened, and of the 3,158 allegations, nearly 5 out of 6, or 83%, were unsubstantiated, unprovable, or completely fabricated hogwash (which they still investigated fully anyway, wherever possible). And 529 cases among 203,695 women in the military comes a lot closer to the rate of sexual assault in the population at large (2.6 per thousand, rather than SWAN/DoDs farcical rate of over 93 per thousand). Color me shocked.

I'ma go with "B".

I'm trying to remember where I might have heard a number close to 83% referring to baseless claims of rape, but the source eludes me at the moment. But at least, in the military, they track the claims as well as the prosecutions. Funny where their correlation ends up, i'n'it?

I repeat, Rape is bad.
It's not trivial, and I'm sure cases go unreported. But there's a significant number of known cases where the charge is b.s. and the official policy of TPTB, inside the military or out, that "Better ten men arrested falsely than that one rape go unimagined" is morally wrong, civically unhealthy, and utterly jackassical.

And the Sisterhood needs to own up to what they know for real, before they whip out their Ouija boards to tells us what they imagine, whatever the pretense or pretext.

You can thus guess my greater shocked surprise when there wasn't an unending stream of battered women coming to the ER on Superbowl Sunday, a sad parade of children with fingers blown off and eyes gouged out by fireworks every New Year's Eve or Fourth of July, nor a conga-line of folks shot by the family gun. Ever, at any point in time.

But the number of people SOCMOBing* at 3AM when randomly attacked by Sumdood,** and the number of jail inmates who nightly fall out of their bunks continues with a predictably tedious monotony.

*Standing On Corner, Minding Own Business
** With a hat tip to Ambulance Driver, who coined the name, Sumdood is a criminal mastermind and the most legendary perpetrator to never end up on the FBI's Most Wanted List, despite having beaten the stuffing out of tens of thousands of upright citizens at 3AM, and planting literally trash dumpsters full of heroin, cocaine, crack, meth, pot, pills, and assorted weaponry in the homes, cars, and pockets of otherwise blameless individuals.
To wit:
"Ah wuz jes' standing on the corner, minding m'own business, when Sumdood jumped out, whacked me with a crowbar, and shoved that stolen gun and that crack into my sock ,Officer, Swear to Jesus!"

Look who else has recently opined on a related part of the topic, and noted that the math doesn't add up -
George Will

1 comment:

Paul Campbell said...

Entertaining and common sense narrative on the issue!