The new rape guidelines


— Most rapes are committed by strangers

— Most rapists are known to the victim: a partner or former partner, friend, colleague, acquaintance or professional

Can both of these be myths which judges need to disabuse juries of?

One or the other could be a myth, but both?

— Stranger rape is more traumatic than rape by a known person

— Sexual assault is a traumatic experience whoever the perpetrator and sometimes more traumatic if a breach of trust is involved

Similarly, isn\’t this rather all things to all men? Stranger rape is more traumatic than non stranger rape except when it isn\’t?

Is it the journo or the guidelines themselves which are confused here?

11 thoughts on “The new rape guidelines”

  1. Not untypically for the Grauniad, it’s a formatting mistake. See how the first two bullet points are structured as “Myth: Reality”. That’s what should have happened to the rest. So “stranger rape” is the myth and acquaintance rape the reality, and so on.

    Have a look here for a good recent discussion:

    Anderson, I. (2007). What is a typical rape? Effects of victim and participant gender in female and male rape perception. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46(1), 225–245.

    Tim adds: “Not untypically for the Grauniad”…..or The Times, which is the paper the link is to…..

  2. Indeed, indeed. I guess it’s just my default assumption that if you’re taking the piss out of journalists, it will be from Guardian…

  3. Well, the thing here is that this isn’t about “myths”. It’s about the courts being ordered to apply a particular hegemonic view, which has been made hegemonic by the rise in political power of the Abuse Industry.

    Rape is a very hard crime to prove, in many circumstances. Proving that sex took place is more simple, but proving whether consent was given or not is extremely difficult unless the proceedings were recorded, which is rare. It is thus very difficult indeed to know what proportion of rape allegations are false. The Abuse Industry claims that the false allegation rate is negligible; but we have no way of proving this. Additionally, consent is often difficult to prove either way, since fornicating couples rarely make formal declarations of consent, nor sign a contract- consent is implied by behaviour. Complicating the matter further is the fact that consent may be initially given, but may be withdrawn at any time during the act- an initial agreement to have sex does not obligate a person to continue to its conclusion if during it they change their mind.

    So, anyway, this is about declaring various views verboten. There is no scientific evidence that false allegations are common. What they aren’t saying is that there is no scientific evidence that false allegations are rare either. It is simply impossible to know.

  4. But there is lots of empirical evidence in the psychological literature (moot point whether you want to call that “scientific”) that the prevalence of certain assumptions (“myths”) about what constitutes “normal” rape will impact on the way that judges and juries weigh-up pieces of evidence in any given case.

    These guidelines are an attempt to adjust for some well-documented perceptual biases. Whether that’s even possible is another matter, but I find it hard to see them as an attempt to stifle anyone’s views.

  5. Well, it depends on what you believe is the false consciousness. All of our modern hegemonic post-marxism is based on the idea of forcibly correcting false perceptions. Whether you support that depends on whether you believe the false perceptions are actually false or not. So, the government may tell us that the viewpoint “islam is a fascist religion trying to take over the world” is a false consciousness. But whether it is or not, is largely a matter of opinion.

    It’s the fundamental flaw in post marxism. The idea of false consciousness- that people can believe things that aren’t true, basically- is valid enough. But how you ascertain which things are objectively true, that’s where it gets difficult.

    We have no way of actually knowing how many rape allegations are genuine and how many false. The only data we have is from the court system, since that is our only (flawed) method of trying to separate the real from the fake allegations. You’re stuck.

    In other words, the well documented perceptual biases are based on the biases of the researchers who conducted the sociological research, which are predisposed to a presumption of false consciousness regarding rape allegations, because the researchers themselves are subject to a particular consciousness themselves. Because their entire methodology is itself based on the presumptions of post-marxist hegemomic analysis. Which may itself be a false consciousness.

  6. Sorry, I missed out the key point thar that one is obligated to analyse the actions of the modern state in post-marxist terms, because it is itself based upon post-marxist analysis, in that it applies that post-marxist interpretation to the societyit governs. (Society is interpreted in terms of hegemonic oppresion of victim groups, and it is the job of the state to redress this balance by empowering the victim groups against the hegemonic oppressor group).

    I know all this sounds like terrible undergrad cobblers, but it’s what our rulers believe, so we have to engage with it. Unfortunately.

  7. No wonder nobody followed that crap up for nearly twelve hours?!

    Jeez. Anybody know what he was on about?

  8. Paul, the thing we call variously political correctness or identity politics is the application of marxist theory which was infused into the mainstream after the 1960s- basically this crap was taught in, and fermented in, academia and the student body, who then went out into the world- the bureaucracy, pressure groups, NGOs, and started implementing it. Which is why we are where we are now, and why we got here so quickly.

    Googling “Gramsci” is usually a good place to start. As I said, it’s total cobblers, but it’s the cobblers our rulers believe in, so we need to grasp that. It routinely informs the actions and decisions of the state, NGOs, charities, etc and is now routine. Just as you have to have some grasp of fundamentalist Islam to understand the theocrats of Tehran, you have to have some grasp of post-marxism to understand our own rulers.


    Unfortunately, a change of party in power won’t change a thing in this regard. This hegemony/oppressor/victim ideology now permeates all our institutions of state and drives their function. The belief in false consciousness is now entirely absorbed into all policy making- that is the idea that you have a real will, which is masked by a false will which drives you to do things against your interest. You don’t e.g. buy beer because you like beer, you’ve been tricked into liking beer by the evil capitalists via propaganda (advertising), and it is the job of the state to re-educate you, that is remove the false consciousness.

    It is the fundamental ideology driving, for instance, “Nudge”. Which is one of Davey Boy Cameron’s favourite books.

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