Friedrich Engels (1843): Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy: Hoisted from the Archives

Sandra Newman: One More Thing on Kavanaugh: "One more thing on Kavanaugh before I go and do my laundry. I've written about false rape accusations before, and I know they do occur. I spent months researching this article, and I'm very familiar with the territory...

...Ford's accusation has none of the characteristics of a false accusation. False accusations tend to paint the attacker as extraordinarily evil and deliberately cruel, not as a kid who is doing something really awful and stupid while black-out drunk. There is also a grand guignol quality to a lot of false accusations. If you read the UVA accuser's story, or the Duke accuser's story, you can see this. They're involve bizarre forms of violence that aren't even strictly physically possible. A thing you will not get in a false accusation is an element of slapstick, as in Ford's account of the second boy in the room jumping on top & tumbling Kavanaugh loose so she could get free. A person seeking to harm someone doesn't add comic relief.

False accusers do NOT, contrary to popular belief, have a pattern of reporting a rape thirty years after the fact. This could happen, but it's not a thing that crops up over and over. In fact, in my research, I found no proven instance of this ever happening. False accusers are typically either stressed teens or people with a specific kind of serious mental illness. Not successful adults just going about their business who suddenly decide to do one really crazy pernicious thing that will ruin their life.

This story is nothing like the typical false rape accusation. It is, however, exactly like millions of attempted rapes. It is such a common story that it is certain that it's happening to many people as I type this sentence. Just want to add, to be clear: this doesn't mean teens and people with severe mental illness should be treated with suspicion when they report a rape. They are actually more likely to be targeted for rape. In these cases, there are features police can look for to tell whether they should treat a case with suspicion. E.g. a history of false reports or extreme fabrications, a situation where a teen was caught having sex by a strict parent. These cases can turn into a quagmire, but with an adult professional who has no history of extreme fabrications, there are no such difficulties...