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Rape Misinformation

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 8:37 pm Tue 14th October 2008

FYI, my letter to Dr McGregor, in relation to a recent case of false complaint in which the offender was, as usual, treated with undue leniency by the Court.

Dear Dr McGregor

You were quoted in the Waikato Times on 08.10.08 as follows:

“Dr Kim McGregor, director of Auckland-based group Rape Prevention Education, said that about 2-10 per cent of rape claims were false, but an estimated 91 per cent of sex attacks were not reported. Dr McGregor said false rape allegations were often triggered by traumatic experiences and questioned the benefit of prosecution in such cases.”

While you are entitled to your opinion and to express it, no doubt your position will be duplicitous. I am sure that you would not question the benefit of prosecution of male sexual offenders whose behaviour was triggered by traumatic experiences, as indeed is true for many of them. You would probably advocate that sexual offenders be prosecuted for such reasons as punishment, social denouncement and deterrence of others, all the same reasons that we might prosecute false complainants, yet you seek to make a special exception for false complainants. Such complainants are likely to be women, and your position essentially sexist.

Your statement showed a callous disregard for the ruined lives brought about by false complaints concerning offences that carry huge sentencing tariffs. The fact you could be so uncaring towards the victims of false complaints causes one to question whether compassion is a significant motive at all in your work.

Your dissemination of statistics amounted to propaganda. You quoted a range of estimates for false complaints to ensure that the ridiculously low (and discredited) rate of 2% was mentioned but you failed to present any range of estimates for unreported “sex attacks”, preferring to mention only the highest estimate you could find. No mention was made of your definition of “sex attacks” as measured by the research producing that rate. No mention was made that both the phenomena of false complaints and unreported sexual crimes can only ever be roughly estimated based on chosen measurement criteria and assumptions. In my view you have breached your professional code of ethics by representing research in a deliberately misleading way to forward your own particular cause. No matter what the merits of your cause, they do not relieve you of responsibility to represent research honestly.

Further, you perpetrated the common feminist argument that because unreported sexual crime rates are high, this somehow means we should overlook false complaints. The two issues are largely separate and the argument is illogical. Concern about high unreporting rates in no way obviates concern about the huge violence of false complaints. Even if it were to be established that prosecution of false complainants will increase the rate of unreported crimes (which has not been established), it would not amount to an adequate reason for failing to prosecute false complainants. You might as well claim that it’s not a good idea to prosecute fraudsters because it might discourage honest traders from offering services. And if you had any inclination to remain honest you would acknowledge that the reasons for choosing not to report (possible) sexual crimes are many and varied, and that fear of being prosecuted for a false complaint will be a relatively minor reason.

If you hope to gain public sympathy for your cause, positions of hypocrisy, misleading statistics and illogical, manipulative argument will ultimately work against you. Men are thoroughly sick of being denigrated, lied about and treated unfairly, and we will blow the whistle on the types of transparent misinformation you and others in your industry keep spreading. I urge you to remain honest and fair in your representations; the true facts are sufficient for your cause.

Hans Laven


  1. The duplicity surrounding the immediate and heavy punishment of male sex offenders, and the turning of blind eyes to women who exploit this societal bias for their own ends, reminds me of another period in our recent history in which men were systematically persecuted and women were given a pass for doing the same thing.

    I refer to homosexuality.

    Up until the the 80’s, when male homosexuality was decriminalised, men were routinely arrested, jailed and publicly humiliated – they were held up us abominations and outrages to society. Lesbians, on the other hand, never saw the inside of a prison cell or had their names published in public newspapers. Homosexuality was only a crime if engaged in by men.

    This tendency we have to publicly punish only men for behaviour both sexes engage in is something we desperately need to at least acknowledge, before we will ever get around to doing anything about it. Whilst we remain so steadfastedly in denial about the way we use men as whipping-boys to salve the consciences of an unthinking public, then whipping-boys are the fate we have chosen for ourselves.

    Female-privilege activists will have no difficulty in continuing to use us as such if we allow ourselves to be so used.

    Comment by Rob Case — Tue 14th October 2008 @ 10:11 pm

  2. McGregor needs to repeat Stats 101.

    Dr Kim McGregor, director of Auckland-based group Rape Prevention Education, said that about 2-10 per cent of rape claims were false, but an estimated 91 per cent of sex attacks were not reported.

    To estimate that 91% of sex attacks are unreported has no factual base and contributes to creating a position that verges on the ridiculous.

    There are valid statistical uses for estimation but any estimate remains exactly that an estimate not a reality!

    Given the ideological model that McGregor demonstrates the likely of estimator basis is very high.

    If I estimated like this in my job I would be laughed off the executive team. Im limited to reality not myth in applying ststisical analysis to complex busines system.



    p.s in case you all wonder my speciality is statistical anaylsis of complex IT systems to identify and remove the root cause of problems.Im not paid to bullshit to get more funding, if I did that I would have no employment

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 14th October 2008 @ 10:28 pm


    In England a Woman 40 had sex several times with 14 year old boy, gives him coacaine , but is still unpunished. She claimed that the boy “seduced her”.

    This is good news! As a male, if I had a relationship with an under age girl I could argue she seduced me, then I would get off the hook and not go on the sex offenders register. Did anybody see that pig fly by!

    Comment by Perseus — Wed 15th October 2008 @ 12:18 am

  4. I have not had the courtesy of any reply to my correspondence to Dr McGregor. I shall follow up and keep all informed.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 23rd October 2008 @ 10:02 am

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