Men Are 32x More Likely to Be Killed By Lightning than Falsely Accused of Rape

In a variety of ways, it’s been said to me for as long as I can remember:

“Be careful about what girls you sleep with. They might accuse you of raping them.”

“Did you hear about that chick accusing so-and-so of raping her? What a cunt.”

“Don’t stick your dick in crazy.”

It starts early, and there is little-to-no counterpoint. You can draw a straight line between pulling girls’ pigtails in grade school to assaulting or raping them in later years. By the time college rolls around, young men have been handed a societal philosophy of entitlement: women are there for your pleasure, regardless of her consent. Especially if she’s “asking for it” i.e. clothes, flirting, drinking, walking alone at night (breathing?). Especially if you feel threatened by her on any level.


This way of thinking is so pervasive that women have been framed as “cold” or “bitches” if they even so much as fail to smile at men who express interest in them. Lonely men populate the online world lamenting how “women hate nice guys and only like assholes” and about “getting friendzoned” and why-oh-why won’t this woman sleep with me, I am SUCH a nice guy.

We live in a culture that treats women like products to be bought and sold, and when those “objects” suddenly assert their right to human value, many (if not most) men feel threatened.

This is no more evident than in the false rape accusation hysteria. It is communicated to boys and men, time after time, that women will accuse them of rape at the drop of a hat. False rape accusations are pushed forward as a common and random act of craziness that any nice boy will find themselves in because those feminazis have made the world so damn hard for men.

Women who have the courage to come forward about their rapes are regularly shamed and ostracized, and the attacker is defended, even by women who refuse to believe that a “nice guy” would do such a thing.

Recently, Occidental College–who has been the legitimate focus of criticism by activists on campus sexual violence–created an online reporting system for victims of rape and sexual assault. MRAs, or “Men’s Rights Activists (perhaps more accurately known as insecure, woman-hating assholes) led a campaign that flooded the online reporting system with over 400 false reports in the span of a week.

In the past week, “A Voice for Men” founder Paul Elam, ever empathetic and reasonable, is leading his own campaign to attack Karen Smith–the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton–by having his followers “falsely accuse” her of rape.

Her crime? She had the audacity to lead a successful movement in Edmonton called “Don’t Be That Guy” that resulted in a drop of rapes and sexual assaults in the area.

I have to admit that in my early adulthood, this was a concern in the back of my mind. I had managed to learn about enthusiastic consent, and I felt I was respectful toward women, but deep down, I was worried that I would become a target of false accusations.

But here’s the thing: if you look at the statistics, “false rape” is something that should rarely–if ever–cross the mind of any man.

The FBI’s last statement on “unfounded” rape accusations put them at 8 percent of all reports. And that’s being generous because those defined as “unfounded” are labeled so for a variety of reasons: if the victim didn’t fight back, if the attacker didn’t use a weapon, if the victim did not sustain injuries, or if the victim had a prior relationship with their attacker.

NONE of those should ever be used to dismiss rape; they are not indicative of consent, let alone enthusiastic consent.

So, that 8 percent is a generous figure to false rape propagandists.

But now we go deeper. The Department of Justice annually compiles a report called the National Crime Victimization Survey and estimated in 2012 that a mere 28 percent of rapes are reported.

So, of all rapes, reported or unreported, we see that generous estimate of false rape accusations drop to 2.2 percent.

Think about that. If you hear of a woman who has reported a rape, and you suspect she’s lying, there’s, at the very best, an 8 percent chance you’re right. At worst, even giving that FBI figure the benefit of the doubt despite its incredibly flawed system of disregarding consent, you have only a 2.2 percent chance of being correct.

Next time you’re ready to throw out some bullshit assertion that a woman is lying about being raped, ask yourself if you’re ready for those odds. Is it worth the speculation of ruining a victim’s reputation based on no evidence because you couldn’t do the necessary critical thinking?

But now, let’s go deeper. Studies compiled by the Kinsey Instituteestimate that 18-29 year-olds have some form of sexual activity with another person (or people) “an average of 112 times a year, 30-39 year-olds an average of 86 times per year, and 40-49 year-olds an average of 69 times per year.”

Because false rape accusation hysteria is especially prevalent among young adults, let’s apply these numbers to the 15-39 demographic, which engages in interpersonal sexual activity an average of 99 times a year (with the assumption this data can be extrapolated for 15-18 year-olds):

There are 103 million Americans in this age range. If the average number of annual interpersonal sex acts for each American is 99 and men ostensibly make up at least half of every instance of sexual intercourse, that comes out to 5.1 billion instances of some form of interpersonal sexual activity for 15-39 year-old men in the United States.

The FBI estimated there were 84,376 forcible rapes reported in 2012. If 8 percent of those rapes are false, that would come out to 6,750 cases in which the victim was lying about her or his assault.

Remember that even 6,750 is being generous because of the FBI’s flimsy 1996 definition of “unfounded” rape accusations.

Even so, that would mean that the odds of any sexually-active male between the ages of 15 and 39 has a 750,000 to 1 chance of being falsely accused of rape.

Here’s another way to look at it. The National Institute of Justice estimates that men have a 1 in 33 chance of being raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

In other words, men are 27,500x more likely to be raped than falsely accused of rape.

Did you read that? MRAs should be far more concerned with addressing rape culture itself as an issue, but that would leave little room to bash feminists, right?

Just for fun, here are other things more likely to happen to you than being falsely accused of rape, as provided by the National Safety Council:

– Death by lightning (1 in 84,079)
– Killed by a dog (1 in 120,864)
– Killed by fireworks (1 in 386,766)

You could be killed by lightning 9 times before being on par statistically with being falsely accused of rape.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. You’re also more likely to win $10,000 in the Powerball lottery (1 in 648,975.96)  before being falsely accused of rape.

Let me know how that works out for you.

And again, this is all based on that inflated 8 percent.

If we go with the more accurate 2.2 percent, we’re looking at a 2.7 million to 1 chance of being falsely accused of rape.

In case you’re wondering, that’s approximately 32 deaths by lightning strike.

ALL of this is if we assume all risk of false rape accusations on straight men. If we were to add nuance on gender or sexuality, these odds would only increase.

And here’s the kicker: because only 14.2% of reported rapes lead to a conviction, even those few who are falsely accused can rely on our justice system to have their back.

So, now that we’ve established false rape is wildly overblown and statistically unworthy of concern on the part of any given male, let’s look at some stats that DO matter:

1 in 4 women will survive a rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

95.2% of victims of rape are women (NCVS).

And yet, this entire statistical exercise does not include considering how male privilege shapes our view of women who come forward about their trauma.

Here’s hoping these numbers will help them get the justice they deserve.

This piece was cross-posting with permission from .

Charles Clymer is a blogger, student, and Army Veteran. Based out of Washington, D.C., he provides commentary on social justice issues. He is a proud feminist and ally of the LGBT community.

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  • whatever

    The FBI 8% unfounded rape claim was for FORCIBLE rapes and did not include any data regarding any other kind of rape, especially including date rape, or the kinds of rapes on college campuses, or the kind where Mary Jane is found boffing her boyfriend and she claims he raped her.

    “Rapes by force constitute the greatest percentage of total
    forcible rapes, 87 percent of the 1996 incidents. The remainder
    were attempts or assaults to commit forcible rape. The number
    of rapes by force decreased 3 percent in 1996 from the 1995
    volume, and attempts to rape decreased 4 percent.
    As with all other Crime Index offenses, complaints of
    forcible rape made to law enforcement agencies are sometimes
    found to be false or baseless. In such cases, law enforcement
    agencies “unfound” the offenses and exclude them from crime
    counts. The “unfounded” rate, or percentage of complaints
    determined through investigation to be false, is higher for forc-ible rape than for any other Index crime. Eight percent of
    forcible rape complaints in 1996 were “unfounded,” while the
    average for all Index crimes was 2 percent”

    • ginmar

      Nice link, dude. OH, wait…..Lookit that. Another MRA, another lack of link.

      • CJ1985

        He’s referring to the webpage linked by this very article as their alleged ‘support’. It’s right there for you… Get a clue.

        • ginmar

          The kind of clue your little buddy has when he ignores the fact that cops are often just as misogynistic as he is? Where he claims Mary Jane is ‘boffing her boyfriend’ and cries rape?

          • CJ1985

            What are you even saying, and how does it prove your point? He’s saying that the numbers in this article are totally screwed because they only consider one type of rape, the type that is probably the least likely to be falsely reported. What the hell does that have to do with the cops? Nothing.

            I suppose, however, that you now want to use your obviously superior intellect to claim that the real numbers are actually even worse because police are too sexist to even bring charges of rape… I notice that you didn’t post a source…. Kind of hypocritical of you don’t you think?

            Keep up the good work fembot, you discredit your own beliefs with every ill advised word out of your mouth.

  • Jade Davis

    This article is complete nonsense. The figure of 8% of false rape claims attributed to the FBI has nothing to do with the total number of claims of false rape. The 8% figure only refers to false accusations of rape in which charges have been brought against the false accuser.

    Even though only a very few of false accusers are actually charged with the crime, the crime of false accusations of rape are 4 times higher than any other crime in the United States.

    The actual figures are that 40-60% of rape accusations are false (even though very few false rape accusers are ever charged with the crime). This was proven in three independent studies done by Dr. Eugene Kanin at Purdue in 1994. His figures are derived from the admissions of women who have made false accusations of rape.

    • ginmar

      The Eugene Kanin study is absolute bullshit. No one else has duplicated his methods, in part because he refused to name the town or the methods used by the cops in his ‘study.’ One thing that did become clear, though, is that the police force demanded that rape victims—and only rape victims—-take polygraph tests. So, Jade, you’re full of shit.

      MRAs LOVE that study like they love so many outdated or questionable studies because they want to believe that women are evil.

  • Mary Hale

    There is a great study on false reports by David Lisak and others that really supports the 3-7% rule. A panel of researchers, advocates and law enforcement reviewed over 1800 rape allegations/cases and based on a solid measurement base – no evidence, bad interview techniques – established a 3-7% solid false report rate. For example, the alleged offender was out of town at the time= false report. Get over it. Rape is not falsely reported more than any other crime. Whatever you may think, those of us who work with victim of sex crimes know there is NO benefit to reporting. It’s not like you get a new car, parade and T Shirt if you report. You are put through an invasive (understatement) physical exam, your personal life and choices are brought out for public ridicule and your every action is questioned. Why would a woman think that falsely accusing a man would result in a conviction or anything positive? Nothing in reality or the media supports that. Quit feeding a belief system that allows predators to run amok unchecked. False reports, again, get over it.

  • PlainOldTruth

    Since radical feminists, highly respected, highly paid, ones, regard all heterosexual intercourse (PIV) as rape, it is a fact that the vast majority of heterosexual males will be accused of rape before they are 25 years of age. These men (well over 90% of all men 20 or older) have been publicly accused, whether you or I agree with the politics of the accuser.

  • 37 Pieces Of Ric Flair

    You had me at men are 32x more likely to be killed by lightening.

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