Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’

Mathematical Malpractice Watch: Rape Statistics

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The Akin controversy has brought a lot of ugliness to light. I’ll push aside the broader political issues, which I’ve discussed on the other blog. Instead, I want to focus on a particular piece of nonsense from one of the more influential pro-Life figures, who has tried to argue that rape pregnancies are very rare.

You would think this would be straight forward. You could, for example, find rape victims and ask them if they got pregnant. And indeed, a study estimated that about 5% of rapes end in pregnancy and 32,000 fetuses are conceived in rape every year. You could also ask women getting abortions if they were raped. And indeed, Guttmacher did this and produced a lower estimate of about 10,000 or so. There is no real incentive, at this point, for women to lie about how they got pregnant. Or there are just as many reasons for them lie either way since many women are tragically ashamed of having been raped. But there is no a priori reason to suspect that either number is greatly inflated.

(The Guttmacher number seems a little better since the numbers in the former study would indicate about 640,000 rapes a year or three times what the FBI and NCVS conclude, even including the under-reporting factor. The difference is likely that Guttmacher is recent and Holmes was published in 1996, shortly after crime rates peaked. Rape rates have plunged in the last 16 years and are down about 85% over the last 30.)

But plain facts aren’t enough for some people, so John Wilke, “M. D.” has come up with a bizarre rape equivalent of the Drake equation to try to figure out how many rape babies are conceived every year and come up with a vanishingly small number.

It’s fairly easy to tear apart.

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Weekend Linkorama

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Non-political links:

  • Honestly? This racy ad on HPV doesn’t bother me. As my blogging on porn has shown, my offense threshold is very high.
  • Orac destroys Mann Coulter’s sloppy research on radiation.
  • Now this is interesting. Maybe we don’t have to drug up our livestock and risk epidemics.
  • Political Links:

  • This just in: Nancy Pelosi is also a lying fool. Maybe she just felt bad that the Republicans were making such idiots of themselves and joined the fool parade in solidarity.
  • Signs that Newt Gingrich’s Presidential campaign is doomed: over at the very Right Wing site Hot Air, only half of the users are buying his bullshit in re: flip-flopping on LIbya. When the half the Right Wing already thinks your full of shit and the election is still 19 months away, you’re doomed.
  • Justice in America: banks get off, home-owners go to jail. What’s most disturbing is how they found this guy – the IRS is targeting people for acting too rich.
  • I’m beginning to think that the GOP really has lost their fucking minds on the abortion issue. The law being proposed (outlawing abortion after 20 weeks) sounds restrictive, but is of a piece with the view of large majorities of Americans (assuming you think these things should be decided by majority rule). But the rhetoric accompanying it is insane.
  • You know, at this point, the fact that AARP was bribed to the tune of a billion dollars to support PPACA doesn’t surprise me.
  • Was Bill Clinton more conservative than George Bush? Hells yes.
  • Oh, that liberal media. Right.
  • The latest idiocy from PPACA. Healthcare is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.