The National Organization for Women , radical feminists, and Women’s Studies departments, often deny that women make false accusations about rape by asking the naïve, simplistic, and self-serving question: “Why would a woman lie?”
It turns out that there are plenty of reasons women lie about rape, either deliberately or out of desperation.
A U.S. Air Force study, “The False Rape Allegation in the Military Community (1983) investigated 556 cases of alleged rape, and found a 60% rate of false accusations. As part of the study, women who were found to have made false accusations were asked “WHY?”
Motivations given by the women who acknowledged they had made false accusations:
To compensate for feelings of guilt or shame 20
Thought she might be pregnant 13
To conceal an affair 12
To test husbands’ love 9
Mental/emotional disorder 9
To avoid personal responsibility 4
Failure to pay, or extortion 4
Thought she might have caught VD 3
The study found that most false accusations are “instrumental” – they served a purpose. If the purpose isn’t avoiding guilt, or getting revenge, it might serve a more focused purpose, for example, telling her parents; “I didn’t just go out and get pregnant, I was raped.” Or, telling her husband, “I didn’t have an affair, it wasn’t my fault, I was raped.”
An unrelated Washington Post article, “Unfounded Rape Reports Baffle Investigators” (6/27/1992) also found a wide range of motivations to falsely accuse men of rape. Anger toward boyfriends was common. One woman had her boyfriend spend 13 months in jail before she acknowledged that she had lied. One woman accused her newspaper delivery man of raping her at gunpoint because she needed an excuse to be late to work.
Neither woman was prosecuted or even reprimanded for lying to the police and attempting to have a man frivolously imprisoned. In a recent US case, police say a young woman who admitted to falsifying two rape reports only wanted a day off from work.
All rape accusations need to be considered seriously, as, no doubt, rape does occur. But a balance needs to be maintained between the claims of the accuser against the all-too-often legitimate denial of the accused.
Women who are found to have made a false sexual assault complaint should receive the same jail sentence as the male victim would have received if he had been convicted. That will put the brakes on fake rape charges.