Rape – morals and motives

A great deal of time – and more than enough money has been expended delving into the minutia of sex offenders with each time the resulting study merely parodying it’s predecessor.

By comparison far too little time is spent dissecting the age and motives of those reporting sex offences.

It was quite natural, therefore, that when the Met Police released its graph of “reported rapes” from 1899 to 2002 that attention should focus on the last 3 decades where the growth looked astronomical (Fig 1).

In the previous article, “Precarious Rape Data – 16 to 25 year olds”, the influencing factors of “binge drinking” among the 16 to 25 year olds was raised (https://falseallegations.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/6/).

Together with the advent of the Ladette culture, the impact of “date rape” drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB was once thought to be prevalent and to account for many rapes of girls / young women.

We are more or less sure this is an insignificant factor and that any ‘lost memories’ of being raped are entirely due to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and then passing out.[1]

The article ended by asking what was the age make-up of rape victim’s statistics in England & Wales and could this influence the total number of rapes reported to the police ?

However, before pursuing that avenue a review of Fig1 is required. The normal way of laying out data for a graph is to use a landscape not a portrait profile. This allows equal emphasis to be made of the amounts and the time intervals. In Fig 1 which  has a portrait profile the time intervals are squeezed together accentuating any increase in amounts, e.g. from 4,000 to 8,000. What this would look like in a more normal landscape profile can be seen in Fig 2. 

The numbers remain the same and the years are also consistent with Fig 1, yet the increase in rape looks far less dramatic. The same increase, from 4,000 to 8,000, now looks far less frenetic.

In Fig 2 the opportunity has been taken to differentiate the age groups claiming to have been raped.

The pink line (‘Series 2’) displays the number of women aged over 30 that report rape to the police.

The dark blue line represents young women aged under 30 and including teenagers. This also seems to be the subset where false allegations and malicious allegations are more rife.

Whereas more in this group younger might complain of losing their memory about being raped they are equal or less likely to contain women who turn out to be ‘fantasists’ (according to a preliminary PAFAA study and based on comments from police and prosecuting counsel). 

The pink line is set at 20% (in Fig 2) to mimic the impact rape claims made by older women have on the overall picture. This proportion is based on US data that indicates that between 74% and 80% of rape claims are lodged by young women aged under 30, e.g. Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse.

In Fig 3, and once again replying on American statistics, the assumption is that in England too 50% of reported rapes are reported to the police by women aged under 25. [2]

The dissection of the graph at 50% (Fig 3), coincidentally replicates the 55% figure given by Grace & Harris in their Home Office study into rapes in 1999.[3]

A more recent Home Office paper, “Investigating and detecting recorded offences of rape” (Report 18/07, pub 2007), confirms that the rape of girls under 16 of age is not uncommon.[4]

Given the promiscuity levels at this age, ‘sex education’, the availability of contraceptives and the encouragement of fulfilling ‘recreational sex’ to be found in girls’ magazines, this should not be surprising.

The UK sourced data is cited in “Precarious Rape Data – 16 to 25 year olds” (see ‘Figure 2.1 Victim Age’),which states that in England & Wales:

  • 16% of rape victims were aged between 13 and 15.
  • 26% of rape victims were aged under 16.
  • 74% of rape victims were aged 16 or over.
  • 42% of rape victims were aged between 16 and 25 and accounted for the single largest group.
  • 18% of rape victims were aged between 26 and 35.

According to “Investigating and detecting recorded offences of rape” (pp ii & 8), ” . . . . the single most common age at which victims were assaulted was 16 years old”, i.e. meaning reported being assaulted (Report 18/07).

The graph accompanying the above data looks like this:

The compares closely with US data which puts the figure of rapes at 15% for those victims aged under 12 (UK 16%), and 29% for rape victims were aged between 12 and 17 (UK 26%). Where it is not so easily comparable with UK figures is where US the data states:

“About 80% of rape victims were under age 30 -about half of these were under age 18.”

It is impossible for legislation to capture the sea change among the sex habits of young people. Gone are the days when young men apparently pursued young women; today it is young women who are more likely to make the opening gambit in a relationship.

It should, in theory, be easier for surveys and studies to capture these pivotal changes in the ground rules but which study has attempted to marry these changes with promiscuity, alcohol consumption and the incidence of rape ?

Are there further parallels to be made between women victims who report domestic violence and those women who report rape ? Are the majority of the latter also single women, in low incomes groups, of low educational attainment and/or living in ‘social housing’ ?

They would appear, as single women, to already share the same age profile !


[1] “Precarious Rape Data – 16 to 25 year olds” https://falseallegations.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/6/

[2] US Bureau of Justice Statistics in a July 1997 http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/apvsvc.pd


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