The tyranny of the anecdote: Irrational fear of false rape accusations based on one-off stories trumpeted by media

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If you are the mother of a son and are worried that your son will be falsely accused of rape, your time would be much better spent worrying that your son will be fairly accused of rape, because the odds are far greater that he will actually be a rapist than be falsely identified as one. The low incidence of false rape claims is extremely similar to the low incidence of false reporting of all other crimes, such as mugging claims or identity theft claims, and we do not hear anyone thrashing and screaming about all the people unjustly ensnared by other people who lie about thievery, and the need to roll back the penalties for such crimes due to all the false reporting. No. Only the crime of rape is widely subjected to the tyranny of the anecdote. Read more…

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