Ann Coulter says 2% Rape Statistic is Bogus

by anonymous reader

According to the FBI, a higher percentage of rape claims are false than any other criminal complaint, 8 percent compared to 2 percent for other crimes.[1]


A study of all rape allegations in a Midwestern city over nine years found 41 percent were false and a study of more than a thousand rape allegations on air force bases over the course of four years concluded that 46 percent were false. In 27 percent of the cases, the accuser recanted.[2]


The quotes are from Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter, published in 2012. Sources given for this info are at the bottom.

According to Coulter, “feminists” repeat a statistic from the book Against Our Will from 1975, which sourced an unprovable remark by a state court judge from a transcript. It says in the notes: “All claims of a 2 percent rate of false rape allegations can be traced back to Brownmiller’s book.”

If we take Ann Coulter at face value, false rape charges are 8%, could be higher, and anything that says 2% repeats something unprovable.

A Slate piece from 2009 suggests the Midwestern city study is unreliable because it was based on a sample of 109 reports and included iffy language. It calls a review from the Cambridge Law Journal, “the best we’ve found” and places “false rape charges” at a rate of 8% to 10%.

Earlier this year, there was an infographic from The Enliven Project. The graphic uses a 2% false accusation rate. (It also factored in a 10% reporting rate, meaning 90% of rapes are unreported, which is why it looks the way it does.)

That 2% was sourced to a 2009 PDF from, which says “estimates for the percentage of false reports begin to converge around 2-8%.” It also says “very few” of the estimates from the Cambridge Law Journal study “could be considered credible.” It gives another study from the Making A Difference Project, which puts the rate at 7%. About false rape reporting, the PDF concludes:

“To date, the MAD study is the only research conducted in the U.S. to evaluate the percentage of false reports made to law enforcement. The remaining evidence is therefore based on research conducted outside the U.S., but it all converges within the same range of 2-8%.”

The PDF talks about a case where a study in Britain gave an initial result of 8%, but was then revised to 2.5%. A study of rapes in Victoria, Australia showed a 2.1% rate of false reporting. Presumably these support the 2% lower bound. (Against Our Will isn’t cited in the PDF.)

A Slate XX piece in January criticized The Enliven Project graphic as overestimating the number of false accusations. Referencing the same NDAA data, it points out the difference between a false report and a false accusation: “victims who fabricate a sexual assault report may not want anyone to actually be arrested for the fictional crime. Therefore, they may say that they were sexually assaulted by a stranger or an acquaintance who is only vaguely described and not identified by name.”
The entry on Wikipedia for “false accusation of rape” questions the 1996 FBI data cited by Ann Coulter.

The NDAA PDF concedes, “Of course, in reality, no one knows—and in fact no one can possibly know—exactly how many sexual assault reports are false.”

– – – – –

Sources from the Notes Section of Mugged:

[1]Crime Index Offenses reported, Section II, Department of Justice Uniform Crime Reporting, 1996 at 22. (It says in the book, “Data on “unfounded’ rape complaints after 1996 does not seem to be available.”)

[2]Eugene J. Kanin, “False Rape Allegations,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 1994. Available at (link works)

Charles P. McDowell, “False Allegations,” Forensic Science Digest 11, no. 4, December, 1985 (a publication of the U.S. Air Force of Special Investigation); Bruce Gross, “False Rape Allegations: An Assault on Justice,” Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, December 22, 2008.



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  • Snake Oil Baron

    Interesting that the “falsely accused” in the info graphic are nicely removed from the “jailed”. Makes it look like the only falsely accused they found were given a fair trial and found innocent. Not enough of those people jailed then released after DNA testing was invented to make up a full stick figure?

    What is really galling is that those who are labeled as reported and faced trial but not jailed were not included in the falsely accused category. So the justice system can not convict and sentence more that 10% of the alleged rapists it knows about but we can be sure those 90% are also guilty? If this were true, wouldn’t it amount to a scandalous admission of failure by our justice system on this issue? No one in government or the activism sphere of reality calling for an inquiry?

    I thought not. It’s weird how often people obviously don’t believe their own claims.

  • Snake Oil Baron

    And for the record, I am far from being a Coulter fan. One of the few things I like about her is her ability to make leftists go into rage seizures. But when she has the right end of the stick she can do some good work.

  • Tamen

    A not insignificant number of the rapist figures should be depicted with skirts.

    Given that about every 5th perpetrator of rape or attempted rape is a woman and the fact that the number of women convicted for sexual offenses/rape are way below 20% of the total number of people convicted for rape/sexual offenses it seems pretty clear that a female rapist have a near negligent risk for being reported, much less convicted.

  • Tamen

    Damn the autospelling on my phone.

    [You’re no longer a tasty noodle snack. Fixed-ED.]

  • Copyleft

    Umm. problem: you’re using Ann Coulter as a cited source of information.

    Coulter is incapable of processing or presenting information in a correct and consistent manner. Got anything credible to point to instead?

  • Schala

    “Given that about every 5th perpetrator of rape or attempted rape is a woman”

    Make that 40%, so 2/5th. According to CDC’s for one year 2010 study.

  • Schala

    Do note that the CDC probably undercounted female on female rape, since it can include events where the woman is neither penetrated by the other (counted as rape), neither made to penetrate the other (counted as made to penetrate, where most male victims are).

  • Tamen

    Schala: You are probably right about the last 12 months number. However, the NISVS 2010 Report doesn’t specify gender ratios of perpetrators for the last 12 months, only for lifetime numbers. As I said, you are probably right, I strongly suspect that the gender ratio is very similar for the last 12 months as it is for lifetime, but I cannot be sure. Therefore I used the lifetime numbers for the 1 in 5 perpetrators of rape are women raping a man statement.

  • Druk

    “A not insignificant number of the rapist figures should be depicted with skirts.”
    This made me look at the graphic again and notice that none of the white rapists even had their crime reported! 😛

  • typhonblue

    @ Druk

    At least they got it right and it was (mostly) black men who were falsely accused.

    Funny how a problem that affects non-white men more than white men is considered irrelevant to wealthy white woman(WWW) feminists.

    Perish the thought that black men get protections against the predatory sexuality of WWWs.

  • Ginkgo

    “Perish the thought that black men get protections against the predatory sexuality of WWWs.”

    Protection?! Honey, they’ve hit the jackpot! Don’t you know that white poon is the highest joy on known ot man? They should be grateful!!! Protection indeed.

    And if you don’t agree, you hate women.

  • dungone

    The midwestern city study was never discredited. The criticisms that have been made of it have long ago been debunked, but people keep repeating it anyway. Including the “iffy language” critique.

  • typhonblue

    @ dungone

    Do you have any sources for that? I’d like to compile them into an article.

  • Snake Oil Baron

    Ginkgo on 2013-05-02 at 1:23 pm said:

    “Protection?! Honey, they’ve hit the jackpot! Don’t you know that white poon is the highest joy on known ot man? They should be grateful!!! Protection indeed.

    And if you don’t agree, you hate women.”

    I doubt anyone will ever allow me the funding and veneer of legitimacy to test that hypothesis. Because they hate women. And because of racism. And because life isn’t fair. And because of capitalist ideologues. But mostly because of PATRIARCHY.

  • dungone

    @tb, can’t find a good source off the top of my head and my Google searches have returned mostly a bunch of feminist websites attacking the study.

    I would recommend looking into one of Kanin’s main academic critics, David Lisak, who has been bashing the study for years. Most other criticisms I have ever heard of were a repeat of Lisak’s claims and people often reference him to discredit the study. But it’s easy enough to debunk this guy, if you just look at his claims of what Kanin’s report said alongside what Kanin’s report actually says. I’ve written on it many times, if I could only find a link to my own stuff… Actually, Lisak is a really awesome example of feminist ideologue posing as a researcher, coming up with ridiculously flawed research, while launching ad hominem attacks on other academics to try to discredit them. But I digress.

    Here’s one blog that will save me a little bit of typing –

  • dungone

    Actually, on second thought that link I just gave isn’t very good. I’ll try to find something a little less vitriolic later.

    Here is an article Lisak wrote to attack Kanin’s study – Read it, as it’s full of numerous logical fallacies and ad hominems, many of which quite ironic. Just look for the obvious goalpoast shifting.

  • Cicero

    I am wondering why feminists only seem to talk about rape culture and never seem to address the fact that most rapists are not average typical men but strongly tend to have either dark triad/asocial/dysocial traits, have psychological disorders of various kinds, have substantial problems with alcohol or drugs, have little education, be unemployed, be poor, are violent to other men also, have criminal records, be immigrants from third world countries etc. etc. Actually, I am not wondering about it because I know it has to do with them wanting rape to be about something all men are responsible for, something all men are equally likely to do if their masculinity is threatened (swedish feminist researchers claims this), something intimately tied to masculinity and a means to whip up support for the larger feminist projects and to give men the guilt complexes they need to be subservient enough to the other demands feminists make. So I am not so much wondering about it as pointing out that if they really want to combat rape it is remarkable that they don`t pay a lot of attention to these facts. I have actually never seen a feminist online address this fact and I am now reading a book describing how feminist researchers have tried to twist the research to cover up the fact that rapists heavily share one or more of the mentioned traits but instead are 100% average normal men and portray them as only acting out of hatred of women and patriarchal attitutdes. Attitudes they claim make any men highly disposed to rape if he is only feeling threatened enough by women and in need of asserting power over her.

    The book I am reading is this book, mentioned recently on this blog:

    I have only read about a quarter of the book but it looks very promising and documents very thoroughly how the debate on rape has been waged by feminists and by other voices in Norway and partially Sweden and Denmark as well. He documents how feminist researchers have used extremely thin sources to make the claim that rapists have no differentiating characteristics from a normal healthy well adjusted man and have ignored strong evidence documenting that in fact most rapists are very different. He also argues that this has led to efforts being almost solely being put into wide attitude campaigns that are unlikely to reach most rapists at all and certainly do not address the issues that actually make them likely to rape. He also documents a variety of other interesting facts such as that the reduction in conviction rate in Norway, made out by feminists to demonstrate a backlash to more patriarchal attitudes and hatred of women, was in fact caused by feminist campaigning making women that have experienced date rapes much more likely to report them. The fact is that “street assault” rapes that get to court is likely to get convictions because a physically damaged woman reporting being raped in the park will be believed and if the reported perpetrator is found, which is necessary to get the cause to court, he will then be convicted. On the other hand a date rape case is much harder to get a jury to believe because there normally is no physical evidence of violence and it is much more likely that a woman is making a false rape claim for sex she just regretted if it was with a man she knew in her own bed than with a complete stranger in an alley. The fact is the increase in reported rapes was predominantly caused by an increase in such rapes. So rather than demonstrating a backlash in attitudes it just shows that the reduced stigma of reporting and the encouraging to report has led increased reporting of cases that are harder to prove.

    One highly interesting inconsistency in the feminist argument the author points out is that the Norwegian and Swedish feminist while arguing that Norwegian and Swedish men rape because of their culture and not because of social and psychological issues they have also strongly argued that the overrepresentation of third world immigrants of rapists has nothing to do with their culture only with social and psychological problems. So while those sceptical of immigration points out that third world immigrants come from third world countries with more patriarchal cultures more likely to have a “strong rape culture” feminists deny this because they want to be antiracist.

    The book also goes into detail on which women is most likely to be raped. I haven`t read those parts thoroughly yet but did glance a statistic on the likelyhood of a woman being raped in a wealthy suburb vs an inner city and the difference was enormous.

    The author also points out numerous other falacies in reasoning that I will report on as I read the book more thoroughly. He also has lots of interesting analysis of data and feminist positions, twisting of facts, dubious research, misinformation of the UN which then criticises Norway because of the misinformation and lots of other interesting and usefull stuff. It might take some time before I can report well on the book because I am awaiting another book in the mail that I will prioritze when it arrives and use as basis for an article but I will get to it eventually and maybe report some more before the next book arrives. I highly recommend Tamen or anyone that can read Norwegian read the book.

    Moving the debate on rape in the direction the author argues for makes sense on all levels but I aslo think it is tactically usefull to start arguing these points with feminists to make it harder for them to constantly go on about rape culture and focus their efforts on that term and the issues related to it.