False Rape Allegations

Scott S. Alexander on false rape allegations: Spotted on Brute Reason but liked and reblogged 35,000 times: Five Things More Likely To Happen To You Than Being Accused Of Rape. A man is 631 times more likely to become an NFL player than to be falsely accused of rape! Thirty-two times more likely to be struck by lightning! Eleven times more likely to be hit by a comet!

Needless to say, all of these figures are completely wrong, in fact wrong by a factor of over 22,700x. I’m not really complaining – missing the mark by only a little over four orders of magnitude is actually not bad for a “story” of this type. Nevertheless, it will be instructive to figure out where they erred so we may be vigilant against such things in the future, and perhaps certain moral lessons may be gleaned in the process as well.

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