Monday, January 30, 2006

Volokh on Rape   posted by TangoMan @ 1/30/2006 01:51:00 PM

Imbler Volokh does an admirable job of correcting the math regarding rape statistics and demolishes the claim, made by the Women's Center, that 2,000 rapes occur every 5 minutes.

What he didn't touch on, I will, and that is the demography of the victims. I'm quite sure that John Derbyshire must have had these FBI statistics in mind when he made his "salad days" comment that touched of a firestorm of knownothing commentary from people who are always inclined to think the worst rather than do a minute's checking to see what other implications arise from one's comments.

This site highlights data from the National Victim Center, which in 1992 published Rape in America: A Report to the Nation.

60% of the women who reported being raped were under 18 years old
29% were less than 11 years old
32% were between 11 and 17
22% were between 18 and 24
7% were between 25 and 29
6% were older than 29
3% age was not available

Derb seems to have been off by about 4 years, in that it's not 15-20, but 15-24, that sees the bulk of sexual attacks. If we look at the rapes that occur to women over the age of consent, (which I'll assume to be 18, simply so that this analysis can make reference to the crime statistics) and which amount to 35% of all rapes, less than 17% of rapes of adult women are of women over the age of 29.

I don't really have an overarching theme that I want to develop here other than to point out the startling incidence of rape on young women, especially pre-pubescent girls. Even if we account for accurate reporting of statutory rape and under-reporting of adult rape these numbers are startling. The other point that should be clear is that rapists are driven to targeting young women rather than old women, or in other words, women in their salad days.