Much Ado About Rape: Quantifying A Big Taboo

The past two days I had the pleasure of observing the blowout over a post by blogger Matt Forney about rape – or more precisely, about “how to rape women and get away with it.” It’s completely satirical, quite funny, and one can’t help but by impressed by the size of the balls (no homo) needed to write that shit in a culture where rape is far more of a taboo than murder. Not very logical that, is it? But it’s true. You can assault people with reckless abandon or even shoot up civilians at a Russian airport in any number of FPS games, but rape is a no-no (so is even normal sex, for that matter). Unless you’re in Japan, but I digress…

Anyhow, I don’t know what set off the tripwire – Mr. Forney had published the article in question months ago – but within a few hours he was getting a flood of Internet hate from assorted Tumblr feminists and their angry beta male orbiters. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Director for International Freedom of Expression” expressed the hope he’d get fired; others called for him to be raped and/or killed. The Anonymous brigade also joined in. After a couple of days, they blackmailed him into taking the post down. You can still read the original here at this blog (which is ironically enough dedicated to PUA hate).

As anyone can quite clearly see, the real issue Mr. Forney was addressing was false rape, and more specifically the campus rape industry that has sprung up in recent decades to employ the new legions of Gender Studies majors. According to those moonbats, something like 25% of female university students were raped in the course of their studies (suffice to say pulling down your panties after having had too much to drink and regretting it afterwards qualifies as “rape” in their bizarro-world). One almost can’t refrain from making jokes at their expense, but since that doesn’t tend to turn out so well, I will focus on statistics as is my wont anyway. After all, facts and data are much more difficult to censor out of existence than articles that can be construed – however tendentiously – as “promoting” rape.

The National Crime Victimization Survey is a dataset of interviews with a vast and representative sample of the US population that aims to get an objective picture of the true incidence of crime in America. The graph below is from the book The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker, a dyed-in-the-wool end-of-history type liberal: “It shows that in 35 years the rate has fallen by an astonishing 80 percent, from 250 per 100,000 people over the age of twelve in 1973 to 50 per 100,000 in 2008.” Now one has to give the feminists their fair due; if not for their anti-rape campaigns, the rate of decline would have likely been slower. Nonetheless, it is ironic that the public panic over rape and sexual assault has risen to fever pitch at precisely the moment in history when the real lifetime risk of becoming a victim of rape has never been lower.


Now to be honest again, I do not know if the 50 per 100,000 figure is entirely accurate. Checking the data directly gives 243,800 rapes for an over-twelve population of 257,542,240 in 2011, which translates to a rate of 94 per 100,000 for 2011. Whence the discrepancy? I don’t know. Maybe Pinker made a mistake in his calculations. Or maybe it’s a semantic difference; whereas Pinker refers to just “rape”, the NCVS study linked to above calls it “rape / sexual assault.” Maybe they are treated as distinct crimes? Regardless, it is not even in the same ballpark as the 25% victimization rates – during four years of college – cited by the campus rape industry. It is, in reality, as gauged by a representative sample of the population of whom half will be women, much less than 1%, and probably around 0.1% or 0.2%.

Moreover, the NCVS destroys yet another gender feminist trope: That only 10% (or 1%, or whatever) of rapes are reported to the police because of pressure from the patriarchal rape culture. In reality, this figure was 55% in 2002, 49% in 2010, and 27% in 2011; the latest figure represents a puzzling drop, true – for a start, it isn’t replicated in reports of domestic violence – but even if it marks a new normal as opposed to a weird fluctuation during one year, it would still mean that the rate of rape reporting is many multiples higher than what the radical feminists claim.

So in short the situation we have as of recent years is that the rate of rape is 50-100 per 100,000 of which some 12.5-50 per 100,000 is reported. This closely tallies with the official reported rape rate of 27.3 per 100,000 (though bear in mind that this measures individual rapes and a few women will report more than one rape per year).

As of 1995, the rate of conviction for rape was about 20 per 100,000 of the male population over ten. This would make it around 10 per 100,000 of the total (to make it comparable with the data above), and while I would think it likely this figure has increased since then, let’s assume that it has remained stable (obviously kudos to anyone who can hunt down more recent data from a reliable source). So as of today there is a man convicted for every third woman who reported being raped – and that’s even before we take into account the fact that a man can well be responsible for raping several women, which would make the true conviction rate even higher. After you adjust for the serial rapists, who surely account for a very considerably fraction of real rapists, the rape conviction rate will probably be around 50%. Which is quite different from the figure of 5% that the campus rape industry cites.

For comparison, from the same link, in 1995 there were around 6 convictions per 100,000 for murder. In the same year the murder rate was 8.2 per 100,000. So the conviction rate for murder, a crime that is typically much, much easier to prove than rape, was at slightly less than 75%. 

So the conviction rate for rape is, in reality, impressively high. It would be absolutely great if it accurately reflected a coin toss risk of conviction for rapists, but I don’t have nearly the amount of optimism in the criminal justice system that the radical feminists might ascribe to me. Here is a quotation from a 1996 Department of Justice study that tried to quantify the incidence of false rapes:

In about 23 percent of the 21,621 cases, DNA test results excluded suspects, according to respondents. An additional 16 percent of the cases, approximately, yielded inconclusive results, often because the test samples had deteriorated or were too small. Inconclusive results aside, test results in the balance of the cases did not exclude the suspect.

The FBI reported that, in the 10,060 cases it received, DNA testing results were about 20 percent inconclusive and 20 percent exclusion; the other 18 laboratories (11,561 cases) reported about 13 percent and 26 percent, respectively.*

So we have about 20% of cases in which DNA results flat out exculpate the suspects, and another 20% in which results are inconclusive. This is even before we stop to consider that these results merely set a minimum floor, as the remaining figures do not exclude consensual intercourse.

A series of other studies compiled by Frank Zepezauer – one of which took place in the US military and allowed the use of polygraph testing – set the rate of false rape reports at around 25%-60% (but weighted more towards the higher figure).

The false rape figures of 2% or so that you see bandied about by feminist organizations typically reflect only the percentage of those that the police explicitly recognize to be false. Given the very high burden of proof needed for that (because seriously questioning rape victims is a taboo today unlike the case in the 1970’s) this figure would obviously not be the same thing as the actual rate of false reports.

To sum up so far you have a yearly rate in the US of:

  • c.75 (50-100) rape victims per 100,000, vast majority women.
  • c.30 (12.5-50) rape victims per 100,000 reported to the police, vast majority women.
  • For which 10 per 100,000 will get a conviction, all men except for some weird cases.
  • Therefore, taking into account serial rapists, something like half of the rape victims will be “avenged” (at least on paper).
  • But of the women who report rape to the police, about 25% to 50% will be either lying or greatly distorting what really happened.
  • The last figures are backed up not only by the cited estimates of the prevalence of false rape accusations, but by realistic assumptions about the fallibility of the criminal justice system.

As per the last point, it’s too much to hope for that the criminal justice system will only, exclusively nail real rapists. In reality the deck is, if anything, stacked against innocent men and “pseudo-rapists” (i.e. the drunk fratboy who has sex with a consenting and equally drunk chick who really, really regrets it the morning after) because the pro rapists are almost by definition more proficient at it in the first place and would take care to cover their traces and create alibis.

Based on the above rough numbers, it is a reasonable estimate that in the US probably more than 25% of convicted rapists are in fact innocent, while a good 25% or so are the type of “pseudo-rapist” described above. And of course while far from all rape convicts will go to jail, their criminal record and the sheer opprobrium associated with rape will generally create multiple problems for them for the rest of their lives such as finding a job, maintaining good relations with friends and family, and wooing romantic prospects. In fact even a false rape accusation can wreck lives because whereas women are allowed to remain anonymous, the accused does not have that same privilege.

Now I know this concept of the “pseudo-rapist” is going to get me flak from the feminists but what can you do. Alcohol lowers inhibitions. People might do stupid things when they’re drunk, but they never do things that they don’t actually want to do – including those which are highly embarrassing in sober retrospect. Whereas female behavior in modern times is highly slutty (not that I’m complaining! – at least personally…) this goes against the human evolutionary heritage – not to mention the superstructure created by the traditional private property system – which prizes female chastity. Men simply do not prize women who sleep around a lot, so they have a biological imperative to protect their sexual reputations in order to get committed, higher quality mates. In a tiny minority of cases – but which constitute a sizable number in proportion to the number of real rapes! – this means that making a false rape accusation is preferable to a woman than letting it be known that she happily slept with the poor beta/omega bastard while blind drunk.

This doesn’t, of course, change the fact that many real rapes still go unreported (about 50% of them) and “unavenged” (also about 50% – and 75% when you adjust for the unjustly convicted). But at this point you’re not going to improve these percentages much by heeding feminist calls to criminalize more and more sexual activity and stacking the legal deck against men even more than it already is. At this stage we are well into the area of diminishing returns to legal sanctions, with any further tightening now only serving to vastly increase the number of ruined lives due to false or misleading rape reports while only ensnaring a few additional real rapists.

TL;DR version. I do think that some of the wilder MRM claims that 90% of rape reports are false are vast exaggerations with questionable motives. However, radical feminist claims of patriarchal rape cultures on American college campuses (which are some of the safest places for women in the world and history) or which minimize the incidence of false rape claims – or argue that the very concept of a false rape is a product of patriarchal thinking, which is downright loathsome and totalitarian – are if anything even more risible and incredible.

This post was about the US. The next one will be about international comparisons, and the conclusions drawn from there will make this post look tame and politically correct by comparison.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Pinker’s rape graph is a bit misleading because it starts from 1973. Rape incidence started shooting up in the 1960s just like all violent crime. See the graph here. Most likely the rate rape has fallen beginning in the 1990s for the same reasons that the homicide rate has fallen. Feminists probably have nothing to do with it.

    • Pinker’s graph shows the trends in the incidence of rape, as confidentially reported by a representative sample of survey takers. GNXP’s graph shows the per capita rates of recorded rape. Two very different things, because not all rapes will be reported; but whereas today half are, in the 1960’s this was only a small fraction of the total because back then being raped still carried a taboo.

      While rape rates may well have been somewhat lower in 1960 than 1973, I do not think it is plausible to say that they were fivefold lower, as today is to 1973.

  2. When you break down violent crime (rape and murder) by race you’ll get some very interesting statistics. Liberals, of course, don’t want to hear about it.

  3. Nice report. Somebody can raised a voice against feminist. The hole Law against men in many ways.

  4. The definition of rape has been significantly broadened in the past generation as my personal experience illustrates. People simply did not report cases of “acquaintance” or “date” rape in the past because they knew it would not be prosecutable. The recent Steubenville verdict simply wouldn’t have happened in the seventies because the victim would have been discouraged to expose him/herself to a hostile system. Even fifteen years ago, when I worked briefly as a victim advocate, it took a very determined victim to bring charges against an acquaintance who raped her after she had willingly played a drinking game with him. In view of the increasingly prevalent opinion that consent requires both parties be unimpaired, I find Pinker’s statistics, showing a dramatic decrease in reported rape, heartening evidence of changing social mores, and not evidence of more “false rape” accusations.

    • We are talking about self-reported rape here. No police involved. That is the statistic which has declined fivefold according to Pinker/NCVS.

      So yes, a case like Steubenville would count.

      I of course view that as an unalloyed good thing. However, one factor that cannot be avoided merely as a statistical consequence is that false rape cases have almost certainly increased to the point of them being comparable in prevalence to actual rape. (See the back of the envelope calculations above).

      Which is fair in a crude way, I suppose. Men rape women, and now have a broadly comparable chance of getting raped back with a false rape accusation. However, what’s not called for is the continued and intensified ranting about patriarchy, campus rape culture, “bro culture” in programming circles (HAHAHA), being cajoled into attending “diversity seminars” funded by your own taxpayer money, bullshit new definitions of rape, and so forth. It’s whiney, piteous, pathetic, and parasitic.

      Incidentally, what’s the story behind your blog? Running a blog devoted to hating on one person looks rather sad, to me.

  5. I don’t hate Roosh, Matt Forney, or others of that ilk although I find much of what they say repellant and frightening. I’ve got a morbid curiosity about what makes them tick. When I get into these blogs, I am visiting an underworld peopled by the kinds of minds I don’t recognize in my physical world… and yet they are there, apparently thousands of them, all of these furious white guys! Anyway, I think men hating on women is rather more sad.

    • The ironing thing is that this guys are all angry at women for sexually rejecting them and they all hate leftists as the part responsible for bringing this about (I never read Roosh so I’m just making assumptions here), but the “ideal” leftist paradise is a hippy commune where everyone has sex with everyone and therefore no one experiences sexual rejection (parenting being shared and children being brought up but by the collective).

      • The ironing thing is that this guys are all angry at women for sexually rejecting them


        the “ideal” leftist paradise is a hippy commune where everyone has sex with everyone

        Double LOL.

        • Well, as I see it sexual idyll is a leftist holy grail (conscious or subconscious). You don’t have to agree 🙂

          • It’s not so much a matter of agreement or disagreement as basic facts.

            First, Roosh at least is most definitely not agree at getting rejected. He makes a living banging women in different countries and writing about it. He *did* get rejected all the time back at university but that was also precisely the time when he was timid and supplicating around women. Timid and supplicating men are not attractive.

            Second, they call it utopia for a reason. Humans are not bonobos. These “hippy communes” are a reversion to tribal sexual relations, which are characterized by a few alpha males snapping up most of the eligible women (in tribal societies, according to anthropological studies, 50% of the men fail to ever reproduce, compared to 20% of the women). That is because those 50% are too unremarkable, lack charm and flair in their mannerisms and carriage, and on the rare occasions that they approach they do so clumsily and unspiritedly (which is “creepy”). Why would any women want to sleep with him? The vast majority wouldn’t, of course. That is why we aren’t bonobos.

            • These are facts, I was talking about beliefs – leftist and their ilk tend to believe that people are (or should be) bonobos. Culture and tradition stand in the way of reverting to this sexual paradise. Have you read “Sex at Dawn”? These views are very popular.

              About this Roosh, if he writes badly of American women then he’s not Casanova or Don Juan (but he’s probably still getting over high school rejections).

              • The idea that unfavorably comparing American women to other nationalities (and acting on it) is a sign of loserhood is rather strange. Surely you have heard of the Russian definition of heaven and hell? 🙂

                The idea that someone who gets more laid more in a month than most men in several years will still be crying into his pillows over HS rejections is likewise strange, and can only really come from the mind of a woman I think.

  6. Like you, I have more than one blog BTW. Thankfully my interests and concerns are not confined to internet-based misogyny.

  7. “Surely you have heard of the Russian definition of heaven and hell? ”
    Russians exalting their own women is commendable. If, on the other hand they were smearing them… . how else to describe them but “losers” (similarly in the opposite situation were women complain about Russian menfolk).

  8. “I can only really come from the mind of a woman I think”

    Did you really have to resort to this sort of argument? I’m in the UK and know a lot of slutty people, men and women, one-night stand culture being so prevalent here. I didn’t notice that they have superior mental health or above certain things like HS grudges …

    • Come on, stop taking things so personally. 🙂

      The reason I mention it is that it is unavoidable. That is because as far as I can, you look at men as if they they were women, just with bigger muscles and a different appendage. Yes, I can well imagine a girl still being hurt and touchy over something that happened years ago, regardless of how how slutty she’s been since.

      Men don’t work like that. Ok, first, just a matter of semantics: There’s no such thing as a male “slut.” Women can be sluts (and I’m not complaining or even making a moral judgment). Promiscuous men aren’t. They are studs, or players (if you like them for it), or womanizers (if you don’t).

      Second, and more to the point, here’s a rule: The obsessiveness men might have to a jilted love interest declines exponentially in correlation to the number of partners they’ve had since. When a man who is a virgin or who might as well be one get rejected, of course he’s going to obsess over it and might even become a “creep” or a “stalker” because of it. When a man has a hundred notches under his belt and can get another one any time he wishes, he won’t give the slightest damn about present rejections, let alone those in the distant past. Chances are he won’t even remember them. Why would he? Those girls who rejected him now look decidedly average and unremarkable in the light of subsequent experience, and it is if anything to their own loss that they rejected him. That is how men in that position think.

      • Thanks for the explanation AK. However, you might have notices that, for example, literature (written by men), differs with your interpretation of male psyche.

        Calling promiscuous men “sluts” is something I picked up in the UK too (some of these people are bisexual, sleeping with hundreds of male and female partners),,, Imo when boys are so casual about sex as they are here, the name fits 🙂

  9. On what evidence do you base your assertion that a man (even a man “with a hundred notches under his belt”) is not affected by early rejection? What makes you think that men and women are so different in this way? I’ve met “successful” “womanizers” who have copped freely to the fact that their need for sexual validation was rooted in the low self esteem they’d felt in their youths. I think both men and women seek validation in sex because sex makes them feel desired. And also, because sex is the way all adult humans (men, women) “play.”

    I also suspect that Roosh’s admirers are exaggerating his seductive appeal. In fact, Roosh candidly admits that he strikes out most of the time. I’m skeptical that Roosh’s “quality standards” (beauty) are as high as he lead readers to believe. He’s always showing viewers pictures of girls he’d like to “bang,” but as for the women he actually seduces, they have to rely on his written descriptions (and their own imaginations). In short, I am unconvinced that most of what he writes isn’t pure fiction, and I’m honestly perplexed why he is seen by his fans as a role model or even a very persuasive example of “Game.”