There’s a rather disturbing case out of North Dakota involving a student at UND facing disciplinary action on a rape that the police actively believe did not occur. It’s not just that the police are failing to press charges, but rather, they are wanting to prosecute the accustor for giving a false statement.

Now men, broadly speaking, and often conservatives, will look at this case with due outrage. And, to be honest, they’re not all wrong here. The recent moves by the Obama Administration to needle schools into loosening the standards of evidence to make it easier for schools to take action make a lot of undesirable things possible.

On the other hand, we don’t know why the police are going after the woman, what lie they might have caught her in, and so on. It could be that the evidence against her is pretty thin. We shouldn’t necessarily assume otherwise. Horrifying accusations on overreaching retaliation against accusers has been known to happen.

Rape really is one of those cases where there is a zero-sum balance. Made more complicated by the disparity in gender between accusor and accused. As a man (in the United States, at any rate), it was never likely that I would be sexually assaulted. Likewise, it is unlikely that a woman would ever be falsely accused of rape. This always leads both sides to minimize the danger of the other. If you’re going to err in one direction or the other, err against them!

Our arguments are always buttressed by our perceptions of likelihood. One in four women are raped! Half of rape accusations are false! When, in reality, we just don’t know all that goes on. Both of these numbers are disturbing. Putting the thumb on the scales to “encourage women to come forward” by refusing to name them even in cases where they have long been discredited (Chrystal Mangum) may encourage rape victims to come forward, but it also provides protection for people who would make such accusations frivolously. And “but no woman would do that!” sounds pretty hollow. The person saying that wouldn’t do it, but there are some crazy women out there. Likewise, though, the one-in-four estimation is truly horrifying. And demands action. And our system has a horrible history of not taking claims of rape seriously.

The easiest way out of this mental logjam is, of course, to simply choose to disbelieve whichever statistics are inconvenient to your perspective. One in four women aren’t raped. They only think they were because they had sex they later regretted. Or the sampling is flawed. Half of rape accusations are not false, and here are the flaws with the study. And to be honest, I couldn’t begin to sort it all out. And since almost everybody has a vagina, and therefore is most likely to be a victim or rape than ever falsely accused of it, or a penis, and therefore is more likely to be falsely accused than raped, everyone has a skin in the game.

So. Err against them.


Category: Courthouse

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36 Responses to Rape & Filling In The Blanks

  1. Brandon Berg says:

    One in four women are raped!

    About that. This is based on the findings of a survey by Mary Koss back in the mid ’80s. There are some questions about the validity of that research, perhaps valid, perhaps not. But even taking the findings at face value, it’s important to note that rape rates have declined by more than 80% since peaking a few years before the survey was conducted. This absolutely is not an accurate description of the prevalence of rape today.

    One in four women aren’t raped. They only think they were because they had sex they later regretted.

    In fact, one of the objections to Koss’s findings is that many of the women she counted as having been raped did not believe that they had been raped.

  2. Kirk says:

    Wasn’t Lara Logan raped? I thought I heard something about that.

  3. Kirk says:

    Two things…

    The recent moves by the Obama Administration to needle schools into loosening the standards of evidence to make it easier for schools to take action make a lot of undesirable things possible.

    and…

    Putting the thumb on the scales to “encourage women to come forward” by refusing to name them even in cases where they have long been discredited (Chrystal Mangum) may encourage rape victims to come forward, but it also provides protection for people who would make such accusations frivolously.

    The more I look at things like this (including sexual harassment policies), the more I think that women are taking advantage of male chivalry. And…,I think it’s starting to cause me to lose my empathy for women in general.

    I’m fairly certain I would still feel sorry for specific women in specific circumstances, but how can I feel sorry for a sex that is willing to get me fired over a dirty joke, get me kicked out of school for a rape that didn’t occur, or publicly accuse me of rape while hiding in anonymity?

    After all that, I’m supposed to care if women actually get raped? I just don’t think I have that in me anymore.

  4. Kevin says:

    There is also a wide spectrum of behavior that falls under the term “sexual assault.” I clerked for a judge who just finished serving a 3-year prison term for for obstruction of justice. Basically, he tried to rape his case manager repeatedly and, when she complained to his superiors, lied to them when they asked whether he had ever tried to coerce his secretary into sex. When his secretary came forward and said that wasn’t true, the government charged him with obstruction of justice, the charge he ultimately pled guilty to, in addition to sexual assault. My wife also experienced firsthand this judge’s hands-on approach with the ladies. He had invited us over to his house and, after drinking all day and into the evening, copped a feel. My wife immediately stood up and said that we had to go, came and got me from wherever I was, and we left. She never felt in danger and there was never any threat of violence. Nevertheless, when the police interviewed us and we told them what happened, she was identified as another victim of the judge’s “sexual assault.” Neither she nor I really consider what happened to be “sexual assault,” but legally speaking, it is. So whenever people talk about how x number of women are victims of “sexual assault,” I immediately question whether these women were abducted at gunpoint by a stranger, taken to a remote location, raped, and left for dead, or merely were groped by a drunk and bumbling suitor. Neither is okay of course, but there is a world of difference between the two.

  5. Brandon Berg says:

    Kirk:
    The women who do those kinds of things are probably a pretty small minority. That’s like asking how you can feel sorry for a sex that beats their wives.

  6. SFG says:

    “The women who do those kinds of things are probably a pretty small minority. That’s like asking how you can feel sorry for a sex that beats their wives.”

    Sure, but any member of the sex can do that to you at any time. While most men can beat most women up, they are unlikely to do so because they would be arrested. Also note that as a beta male, women are likely to perceive any advance as unwanted.

    I bet the converse is true; I wouldn’t be too surprised if feminists tend to draw their ranks from women who have had unpleasant experiences with men. I just wish us men had our own movement–but men don’t follow losers.

  7. Kirk says:

    “The women who do those kinds of things are probably a pretty small minority. That’s like asking how you can feel sorry for a sex that beats their wives.”

    Nobody feels sorry for men. Just look at the differences in how stories of male/female sexual mutilation are covered.

    More importantly, women rely on men’s empathy. If women lose it, then they’re in trouble.

    Maybe they’ve lost it already. Notice how easily the shooter in the below incident separated the (approximately) fifty male students from the nine females. Fifty guys, and not one took action.

    What gets me is that after the shooting started, those men must have known that the shooter was targeting women–and still they did nothing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole_Polytechnique_massacre

  8. Sheila Tone says:

    SFG wrote: “I bet the converse is true; I wouldn’t be too surprised if feminists tend to draw their ranks from women who have had unpleasant experiences with men. ”

    No, ironically, we seem to draw our ranks from rich women from rich schools who live in an ivory tower. Most of the women we feel obligated to sound the battle call for are not, in fact, feminists. Nor are they usually from the feminist class, nor are they usually people most of the ivory tower feminists would want to have anything personally to do with.

    “Horrifying accusations on overreaching retaliation against accusers has been known to happen.”

    Read the story — I think you’re assuming facts not in evidence. The fact that the unidentified dude pled to *some* violation of the penal code doesn’t mean it had anything to do with sexual assualt. For instance, it could have been public indecency. The few facts available suggest some kind of consensual sexual act happened. My theory is that it was consensually done in public, and when both students found themselves in trouble, the girl tried to defend herself by saying it wasn’t her choice.

  9. Sheila Tone says:

    Kevin wrote: “So whenever people talk about how x number of women are victims of “sexual assault,” I immediately question whether these women were abducted at gunpoint by a stranger, taken to a remote location, raped, and left for dead, or merely were groped by a drunk and bumbling suitor. Neither is okay of course, but there is a world of difference between the two.”

    Kevin, I believe that is exactly how the statistic was eventually discredited. I read about it somewhere, but I’m having trouble finding the source right now. And I believe the stat was one in four women *on college campuses,” not women in general. Yes, it did include any unwanted sexual contact, which is very believable to me and is much more common than rape.

    In fact, *most* women I know, including myself, have had experiences that would qualify as either molestation or sexual assault (grabbing, indecent exposure, or someone trying something weird when you’re a kid). Many of these experiences were unpleasant and upsetting, but I do not put them on par with rape.

    I don’t know anyone closely who has been actually raped, that I know of. The women I have met in my life who have claimed it, it was usually not something for which anyone was prosecuted, and their claim was not contemporaneous (ie, recent to the alleged act). Rather, the claim usually seemed thrown out in order to gain the upper hand in an argument or a social competition. And the women who claimed it were almost always women I disliked extremely and disapproved of for other reasons — and this is sometimes where the rape claim would come up, as a defense for their general horribleness.

  10. Sheila Tone says:

    To recap: Almost all women I have known who claim to have been raped are women I already hated for some other reason. I have spent considerable time trying to figure out why this is. It’s usually not a topic it’s acceptable to discuss.

    This is why falsely claiming rape is such a good scam. It makes a cavalry of women automatically feel obligated to rush unquestioningly to your aid and smite your critics, no matter how crappy you are. This is what happened for Lara Logan, and it’s what is happening for the Strauss-Kahn accuser.

    Ironically, this sucks if you happen to be a woman who has a beef with the complaining party. She becomes bulletproof. Even more ironically, the bulletproof status also applies to male jerks who do jerky things in her claimed defense.

  11. trumwill says:

    I don’t have a whole lot to add to a lot of this conversation, but I wanted to thank everyone for their participation. I’ll have to look more into the 1-in-4 statistic, which I had actually sort of assumed to have an overly broad definition (but, as a man, it’s hard for me to articulate without substantial backup). I haven’t read as much critiquing of the Louisville/Memphis/Cincinnati (I think those were the cities) false rape study.

  12. Sheila Tone says:

    Here’s a recent two-part story in Jezebel (http://jezebel.com/5820022/how-a-rape-case-went-off-the-rails) that provides a great example of the unquestioning cavalry into which feminists are drafted. The story is subtitled “JUSTICE UNSERVED,” and it’s titled “How A Rape Case Went Off The Rails.” You’ll see me there commenting as “misshollygodarkly” (that’s an email handle, since I couldn’t figure out how to use my blogger name) until I get chased off with pitchforks by my fellow feminists.

    In a nutshell, a University of Iowa grad student filed a rape charge that the (female) prosecutor decided to drop. The accuser complained to Jezebel, and they swallowed her version of the story: She was raped, and denied justice by a cowardly prosecutor who is prejudiced against people with bipolar disorder.

    I combed through both parts of the post and can’t figure out why Jezebel took her side, other than the blogger/journalist would quite understandably salivate at having a source willing to go public on such a hot-button topic. The University of North Dakota story ties in, in that it helps explain why it is an accused rapist might be disciplined by a college, yet not criminally prosecuted. College discipline boards have low standards of evidence (the “preponderance of evidence” standard, meaning “more likely than not”). In my job I deal with the preponderance of evidence standard, and in sexual abuse cases it simply equates with “the person testified it happened.” I am not exaggerating.

  13. Sheila Tone says:

    Holy cow, the Department of Education now *requires* colleges to use the she-said-it standard:

    “A new mandate from the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights forces all universities that get federal funding to judge claims of sexual assault using a “preponderance of the evidence” standard — the lowest standard of proof, at about 50.01 percent certainty.

    In other words, students on virtually all American campuses will now be found guilty of sexual assault if a hearing panel finds their accuser’s story just barely more credible than their own.

    In an April 4 letter to colleges nationwide, OCR Assistant Secretary Russlynn Ali decreed that using any “higher standard of proof” would violate Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination on campus.

    Until then, most of the nation’s top schools had required that hearing panels find “clear and convincing evidence” of guilt (roughly 80 percent certainty) before branding someone a sexual predator.

    At the time the student was charged, Stanford was using the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard — the highest standard of proof, used by courts in criminal cases. But after OCR’s letter, Stanford shifted to the “preponderance” standard in the middle of his case. ”

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_feds_mad_assault_on_campus_sex_zjUl29Y8d3NmoYOkKchblO#ixzz1WLdkkDUK

  14. stone says:

    Re the statistic, here it is referenced in that “Dear Colleague” letter from the DOE: http://www.ncherm.org/documents/OCRDearColleagueLetter4.4.11.pdf

    The format is unpastable, so I’ll paraphrase: Nearly one in five female college students will be victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

    Here is their cite for it, it’s called the “Campus Sexual Assault Study,” and it covers from 2005 to 2007: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/221153.pdf

  15. stone says:

    The letter also cites a journal article(not linked, probably inaccessible by internet) claming that by the time girls graduate from high school, one in ten will “have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse in or out of school.” I am unsure why they don’t use the word “rape” to describe this. I find the claim very difficult to believe, but my experience is limited to the lower middle class and upward. I believe sexual victimization is much more common among the poor, so they may be skewing the figures.

  16. trumwill says:

    Thanks for the link. My guess is that they used the word “rape” to avoid confusion with regard to statutory rape and other forms of sexual assault that some might consider rape. Especially if we’re looking at high school students, with whom a lot of sex might officially be classified as rape.

    Alternately, it could be the other way around where they are trying to to shoehorn questionable instances (“Well, I never said ‘no’, but he was physically holding me down…”).

  17. trumwill says:

    Regarding the DoE, yeah, that’s getting a lot of attention in libertarian, conservative, and anti-feminist circles. I find it pretty disturbing. Rape is a serious sing, and given that, it does seem to me that accusation of rape should be considered serious as well. And, therefore, we should take great care to make sure it’s right.

    But, as a man, I would think that.

  18. stone says:

    Will wrote: “And our system has a horrible history of not taking claims of rape seriously.”

    Hey Will, a little backup for this? Which system, and are you talking within the last 30 years? Because then I’d have to disagree with you.

  19. stone says:

    Will wrote: “17.Regarding the DoE, yeah, that’s getting a lot of attention in libertarian, conservative, and anti-feminist circles. ”

    Greeeat. Not my best friends. You know what, though, many feminists are also legal professionals like myself and as such, probably give a damn. As a woman, I dislike the idea of criminal perverts going free. As a female lawyer with professional pride, I’m sick of the judge wiping the floor with my face in court whenever I dare to challenge “she said it.”

  20. trumwill says:

    I was primarily referring to the not-so-recent history.

  21. rob says:

    One in four women are raped! Half of rape accusations are false!

    As a matter of logic, it’s possible for both to be true. A common feminist claim is that the stigma of being a rape victim is so huge and so awful, that very rarely will someone assume that stigma just for revenge, or to avoid some criminal charge, unhappy boyfriend, or whatnot. So as long as the rape victim stigma sticks around, there are only a tiny number of false accusations. They also want people to stop stigmatizing rape victims. Yet they don’t believe that false accusations would be more common if the stigma went away. It leads me to believe that they’re being dishonest on at least one thing.

    Then there’s the matter of the expanding definition of rape. Sex with a girl so drunk she’s passed out: rape. Sex with a girl so drunk that she participates not just with consent, but with enthusiasm: also rape. I’ve seen at least one feminist blog where the consensus opinion was that not paying a prostitute after sex is rape. So a woman can be wide awake, sane, sober, and not even know that she’s being raped!

    To me, both drunken consent and failure to pay ‘rape’ harken back to a very patriarchal view of women and sex; sex is something women have and men buy. If you hold that view, then not paying a sex worker is clearly rape. After all, someone can steal money or stuff from me without me knowing it at the time. If I’m super drunk when I sign a contract, maybe the courts will invalidate the contract, but would they send the other contractee (or whatever they’re really called) to prison?

    I don’t want to call it conflation, but the mashup between various forms or tactics of rape (date, stranger, etc) also makes me wonder about how ingenuous feminists are about the matter. One often sees them say that “X(where X is big) percent of rape victims never did anything sexually provocative.” Yet lots of rapes don’t start being rapey until people are half or more naked in bed. Seems like that could be a bit provacative. Having sex with an unconsenting person who was just making out with you enthusiastically is rape, of course. But really, that’s not sexually provocative at all?

    The response to this* letter to the ethicist in today’s NYT is pretty interesting. The writer had an affair with a married woman, and she had his kid. The kid doesn’t know, and neither and neither does the woman’s husband, who thinks he’s the father. The ‘ethicist’ doesn’t even acknowledge that the only wronged party is the duped husband. I honestly think many, maybe most, women can’t see how horrible cuckolding a man is.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/magazine/the-ethicist-secret-history.html?_r=1&ref=magazine

  22. stone says:

    Rob: Argh, it’s amazing how men with no interest in children find ways to work cuckholding into every male-female debate. It’s like someone who lives in Manhattan fearing bear attacks.

    The whole “stigma of rape” bit has always been misstated. The stigma isn’t really about rape, it’s about the fact that rape is one kind of sex outside a marriage or, nowadays, committed relationship. It’s the stigma attached to casual sex for a woman. But a claim of rape serves, in fact, as a defense to that stigma.

    We don’t live in a society where virginity is prized anymore, so most of the rape stigma is gone. The remaining stigma lies in being considered a woman of low sexual value. Virtually no one ridicules a woman for actually being raped; but many will ridicule her for alleged poor sexual choices.

  23. Kirk says:

    17.) “…But, as a man, I would think that.

    More and more, I’m picturing you as Mark Lily, the therapist character from Ugly Americans.

    Yes, I’m calling you a milquetoast.

    http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/ugly_americans/index.jhtml

  24. trumwill says:

    Kirk,

    Hehe, it has less to do with the shortcomings of being a man and more to do with the fact that I am not an unbiased observer (just as women are not).

  25. trumwill says:

    Rob,

    I consider the expansion of terms to be pretty problematic. I think the idea is to recognize that things that we view as being less morally atrocious are really quite bad, but this often backfires when we have to wonder what people mean when they say “sexual assault” or “rape.”

    I would disagree that the man is the “only” victim here. The lies do affect the kid, too. I do agree that there does seem to be a blind spot among a lot of women as far as paternity goes.

  26. trumwill says:

    Sheila,

    You make a very good point about rape stigma, though I’m not sure if I entirely agree. When it comes to things like date rape, there is a “blame the victim” mentality among some. Or, if not blame, then hedging of a sort. “Of course the rape was wrong, if it occurred, which we don’t know if it occurred, but she should have thought twice before being alone with Ben Roethlisberger. That part we do know.”

    Of course, this almost always occurs on the periphery. In the social situations that you refer to, even assholes are not likely to voice this particular perspective. Or raise much in the way of doubts. This is a situation that, as you point out, some women will take advantage of for social advantage.

  27. SFG says:

    “To recap: Almost all women I have known who claim to have been raped are women I already hated for some other reason. I have spent considerable time trying to figure out why this is. It’s usually not a topic it’s acceptable to discuss.”

    True…There are two possibilities I can think of, both of which may be true.
    1. Manipulative women may be more likely to claim they are raped, just as manipulative people are more likely to lie in general.
    2. Being raped tends to make a woman less pleasant, just as trauma tends to make people nastier.

    As for feminists being rich liberals: I suppose. I’ve always had the image of the lesbian-in-the-coffee-shop-and-womyn’s-bookstore in addition to the Radcliffe-graduate-who-works-for-the-Democratic-Party, but maybe many of the first come from upscale backgrounds as well? It’s true political activism is sort of a rich person’s game; the proles have other things to worry about.

  28. trumwill says:

    I know two people offhand that claim to have been raped. One, we discovered, had lied. The other, who may or may not have been lying, used it to explain why she was a bitch (her word) towards men in general. Neither were particularly mentally stable. The former later killed herself and the latter had an obsession with death.

    I would assume that I do have acquaintances that have been raped, but have kept quiet about it. I suspect that there is some self-selection going on, when it comes to disclosure when it has happened and (obviously) lying when it hasn’t happened.

    The broader (unanswerable) question is, though, at what rates we should assume the stigma of doubting such disclosures provides incentive for the real victims to share their stories, and people making stuff up for whatever reason.

  29. Brandon Berg says:

    No, ironically, we seem to draw our ranks from rich women from rich schools who live in an ivory tower.

    I read feminist blogs from time to time, mostly for the train-wreck appeal, and stories of personal financial ruin are extremely common. They may come from educated and/or middle-class backgrounds, but they do not seem to be well-off, personally.

    But there are feminists, and then there are Feminists. I’m talking about the ones who think that oppression of women is the central organizing principle of western civilization, not the ones who think that women should be able to vote and be doctors, and that abortion should be legal.

  30. Mike Hunt says:

    @Kirk

    I prefer to think of him as White Knight Trumwill, Betrayer of his Gender. He hasn’t made an appearance in awhile, so it was good to see him again.

    ===

    The only bias should be in favor of the defendant, because that is how our criminal justice system works. I don’t think gender biases even hold up in the long run, because most of us have loved ones of the opposite gender. Only the cruelest woman would throw her son to the wolves if his date accuses him of rape. Look at the Duke Lax case; all of those moms stood right behind their sons and didn’t give that liar a chance. Likewise, most dads aren’t going to tell their daughters that they should have been more careful.

    What ultimately happened in the DSK case and in the Duke Lax case was that rape was cried because the women weren’t happy with their financial compensation. Since rape, by definition, is a state of mind case, they were in a positive state of mind when the act occurred. They don’t get to back in time and say they were in a negative state of mind just because they wouldn’t do it again. The Kobe Bryant case applies here too, except for the financial consideration. In that case, Kobe sweet talked her, did the deed, and told her to hit the bricks. At that point she decided that she didn’t want to do it.

    More to Trumwill’s post, only men are brought up on charges of rape rape. Most of the time the victim is a woman. When a woman rape rapes a man, everyone just sort of laughs it off. He had beer goggles, and he wakes up the next morning with in bed with a pig. His buddies laugh at him, but none of them tell him to call the police. That would be silly.

    Anyway, since the perp is always man, and since we should be biased in favor of defendants, it might seem like we are biased towards men JUST BECAUSE they are men, when that isn’t the case.

    When the rapist and the victim are strangers, and when there is physical evidence of assault, then that goes a long way of meeting the threshold of beyond a reasonable doubt. However, when the woman goes with the man willingly, I don’t know how that standard is ever proven, unless there are multiple disinterested eye-witnesses. I think as a society we have decided to use the 50.01% as the de facto standard because beyond a reasonable doubt is such a tough standard to meet. In a he-said, she-said case, I think it comes down to which one is the better “catch”; I doubt that a good looking, thin man has ever been charged with, never mind convicted of, raping a fat, homely woman.

  31. rob says:

    Rob: Argh, it’s amazing how men with no interest in children find ways to work cuckholding into every male-female debate. It’s like someone who lives in Manhattan fearing bear attacks.

    I dunno if I’m afraid of bear attacks, but when I get donuts, I never get a bear claw. Just in case the rest of the bear comes looking for it. Wasn’t like I looked long and hard for the cockolding thing it: right there in the same-day NYT magazine (I even finished the accrostic). I’ve always wanted children, but I’ve known it wasn’t realistic for me for a while.

    Mike Hunt is probably right on how our beliefs about how people behave affects whether we think any rape allegation is true, or any allegation. If I go to the cops and say some guy took may wallet, they catch him, and he says I gave it to him, most everyone says to themselves, it’d be really unusual for someone to give a stranger his wallet. We know (or at least believe) that lots of women have sex with pro-athletes for not much investment or compensation, so when the guy says it was consensual, we’re more likely to believe him than a Straus-Kahn. Though that’s not the right probability to consider. The right one is “given that she accused him of rape, what are the chances it was rape.”

    I’m more or less sure that men who claim to be rapists on surveys have more consensual sex partners than men who don’t, and maybe claim to have more sex. Some of its probably because seeking out sex more, but another part is probably that women are much more likely to for eg, go somewhere more private with an attractive guy than with an ugly guy. Couple that with the not-so-rare indifference to consent thing, and there’s no reason to think that the run of the mill rapist will be a mouth breathing basement dweller. (The basement dweller may be just as, or even more rapey, but is less likely to be able to act on it)

  32. trumwill says:

    I prefer to think of him as White Knight Trumwill, Betrayer of his Gender.

    Feh. I am painstakingly neutral here, pointing out that we all seem to approach these issues from the lens of being on one side or the other of where we could conceivably end up in court.

    Look at the Duke Lax case; all of those moms stood right behind their sons and didn’t give that liar a chance. Likewise, most dads aren’t going to tell their daughters that they should have been more careful.

    This is true once you go from the abstract to the specific. And I’d bet that, on the whole, men with only daughters approach these issues differently than men with only sons (and vice-versa)*. But I think in the abstract, it still tends to hold up pretty well.

    I think as a society we have decided to use the 50.01% as the de facto standard because beyond a reasonable doubt is such a tough standard to meet.

    We use it as the de facto standard in some contexts, but still not in courts. A general he-said, she-said is still tough to make a conviction out of. In family courts, the 50.01% standard applies… but that’s the same standard applied to any allegation (right, Sheila?).

    The case of the OCR ruling is more problematic. I would think that given the stakes, the standard should be more than 50.01% with any accusation, including sexual assault.

    * – The same way that I take workplace gender discrimination a lot more seriously living under a household with a female breadwinner.

  33. trumwill says:

    Some of its probably because seeking out sex more, but another part is probably that women are much more likely to for eg, go somewhere more private with an attractive guy than with an ugly guy.

    I suspect that the people on the far left side of the attractiveness bell curve is less likely to rape for lack of opportunity. But I also suspect that the same is true of the men on the far right side of it for lack of motivation. So you’re probably looking at the Great Middle, for the most part.

  34. Mike Hunt says:

    Feh. I am painstakingly neutral here,

    1) Kirk seems to agree with me.

    2) The term in political science for someone like you is a “useful idiot”. Another example is a poor person who votes Republican.

    We use [50.01%] as the de facto standard in some contexts, but still not in courts.

    No, thats the point. Jurors may SAY they are using the de jure standard of BARD, but in their own minds they are convicting on the de facto 50.01% standard.

    Don’t forget, people aren’t as smart as you. If a crime is committed, they want SOMEONE to be found guilty. Legal niceties such as BARD aren’t going to sway them. To them, there is no difference between BARD and 50.01%. Also, a lot of people don’t really believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty; they figure that if a cop makes the arrest, it is good enough for them. I know that Web feels this way too. 😛

    As for the UND case, it sounds like the case didn’t even meet the 50.01% threshold. It is an example of why I hate Liberals.

    The same way that I take workplace gender discrimination a lot more seriously living under a household with a female breadwinner.

    Sigh. Any sort of workplace gender discrimination that takes place now generally favors the distaffs.

    rob: I dunno if I’m afraid of bear attacks [in Manhattan]

    Well rob, the only places that bears have been known to attack in Manhattan are on Christopher Street and in the East Village…

  35. trumwill says:

    1) Kirk seems to agree with me.

    Lesse, you and Kirk on one side and me on the other. I think I can live with that. 🙂

    You both are ignoring the fact that my entire previous paragraph was devoted to my saying in effect “This doesn’t seem fair to men.”

    Don’t forget, people aren’t as smart as you. If a crime is committed, they want SOMEONE to be found guilty. Legal niceties such as BARD aren’t going to sway them.

    My understanding is that when criminal cases actually go to jury, the chances of acquital are actually not that bad. Granted, ones that go to trial are more likely to be cases where the evidence is weak enough that the defendant won’t cut a deal. But it also makes it hard to really gauge the bloodlust of juries.

    In the sorts of cases we’re talking about, though, it’s particularly different because half of what the prosecution has to prove is that a crime occurred at all. Juries can wish the existence of a crime, absent physical proof that the crime existed.

    As for the UND case, it sounds like the case didn’t even meet the 50.01% threshold. It is an example of why I hate Liberals.

    Well, I’m sure Chris Christie will be appreciating your support… 🙂

    Sigh. Any sort of workplace gender discrimination that takes place now generally favors the distaffs.

    If we were limiting ourselves to the rules on the books and how they are enforced, I might agree. But a big part of the discrimination occurs in perceptions that are hard to codify. Double standards regarding equivalent behavior, cutting men slack and giving them opportunities because you know they have a family to support, and so on.

    I’m actually a bit of a “gender gap skeptic” in some respects, but I am unsure enough to be quite worried that I am wrong. A hundred thousand little biases overcome written rules.

  36. Kirk says:

    “I’m actually a bit of a “gender gap skeptic” in some respects, but I am unsure enough to be quite worried that I am wrong. A hundred thousand little biases overcome written rules.”

    Side note: I don’t think discrimination is immoral. When I see explanations about how we made it illegal because it’s immoral, I just can’t get on board with that.

    Don’t people have a right to freedom of association?

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