As you've probably heard by now, in an interview Sunday, Missouri Representative and Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin said he believed that rape-related pregnancy was "really rare." He continued by saying that, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
So, now for the facts. Pregnancy resulting from rape is not rare. In fact, a woman is more than twice as likely to get pregnant during a rape than during consensual sex.
That said, there may actually be something to the idea that the human female body has evolved an ability to resist rape-related pregnancies, although the potential mechanism is pregnancy termination, not prevention, so it's almost certainly not what Akin was talking about.
Akin now admits he "misspoke" in the interview, although it's not entirely clear which part he's referring to.
Akin's intentions aside, he's just plain wrong when he says rape-related pregnancies are rare (a fact that's even more frightening considering that he is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology). Melisa Holmes, an ob-gyn in South Carolina, led a study on pregnancies from rape through the National Crime Victims Center. Holmes's study, which was published in 1996, found that 5 percent of rapes in females of reproductive age resulted in pregnancy, amounting to an estimated 32,101 rape-related pregnancies per year in the U.S. Even that astounding number was a "significant underestimation," she says, because so many rapes go unreported.
More recently, in 2003, husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Tiffani Gottschall, then at St. Lawrence University, identified even higher rape-related pregnancy rates. Analyzing survey results from 8,000 women around the country, they determined that 6.4 percent of rapes in women of childbearing age resulted in pregnancy. In cases where no birth control was used, the rate increased to 8 percent.
Meanwhile, a CDC report released last November concluded that 1 in 5 women have been raped, with 1.3 million women age 18 and up raped in 2010 alone. Doing the math, allowing for the use of birth control, and only including adults, the most recent data suggests that more than 83,000 women became pregnant by a man who raped them in 2010.
Jonathan Gottschall recognizes that there's some "squishiness" in all of these numbers because they're based on self-reported data. Still, he says, "the available data give us no reason to think that conception from rape is rare, or even that it is less rare than conception from consensual intercourse. If anything, the data suggest that things go the other way around." Indeed, a 2001 study out of Princeton and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found the rate of pregnancy from consensual, unprotected sex to be just 3.1 percent.
No one is sure why forced sex is statistically a more successful reproductive strategy than consensual sex. "We think it might be because rapists tend to target young women at peak fertility," Gottschall says. Holmes confirms that most rapes occur in women under 25, and pre-pubescent girls, post-menopausal women and visibly pregnant women are statistically underrepresented among female rape victims, according to Gordon Gallup, an evolutionary psychologist at SUNY-Albany who wrote about rape-related pregnancy in The Oxford Handbook of Sexual Conflict in Humans.
"Rapists don't pick victims at random," Gallup says. "Unbeknownst to them, rapists clearly target victims based on their likelihood of conception. They tend to preferentially target young, post-pubescent females that are in their reproductive prime."
Age alone doesn't it explain it, though, because per-incident rape-pregnancy rates are higher than consensual pregnancy rates even among young women. Seeking out youth and attractiveness -- a fertility cue, according to a growing body of evidence -- gives rapists the reproductive edge, the Gottschalls proposed in their paper. They cited evidence from the 2000 book A Natural History of Rape by University of New Mexico biologist Randy Thornhill and University of Missouri anthropologist Craig Palmer, indicating that rapists seek out young, attractive women.
The Gottschalls wrote: "We propose...that all men -- rapists and non-rapists -- have the capacity to 'read' fecundity cues and pursue the most attractive/fecund women that they can. However, since rapists circumvent the problem of female choice, while non-rapists must confront it, it is plausible that the average instance of rape occurs with a more attractive/fecund woman than the average instance of consensual intercourse. Thus we propose that rapists target victims not only on the basis of age but based on a whole complement of physical and behavioral signals indicating the victim's capacity to become pregnant and successfully carry a child to term."
I called Gordon Gallup for his perspective on rape-related pregnancy. Last year, during a conversation about the antidepressant effects of semen, he mentioned a theory that the nature of a rapist's ejaculate has something to do with his reproductive success. When I asked him to elaborate on that, he told me that semen contains follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which trigger ovulation during the female menstrual cycle. FSH is needed for sperm production, but the presence of LH in high levels is more mysterious because it's not important for male fertility. It's possible, Gallup says, that seminal fluid released during forced sex contains higher-than-normal levels of these hormones -- LH in particular -- which may trigger ovulation in the victim.
There's no direct evidence yet of sex-induced ovulation in humans, although there's some very new research hinting at the possibility. The LH in semen has been shown to trigger ovulation in camels, alpacas and llamas. Semen also makes female koalas ovulate, although LH hasn't been identified as the active ingredient in that species' semen yet. A 1973 study found that 70 percent of conceptions from rape occurred outside a woman's most fertile time. And a 1949 study cited seven women who reported becoming pregnant due to rape, despite having not had a period for up to two years leading up to the assault.
The idea that semen produced during rape is especially primed to promote pregnancy seems less far-fetched considering the well-established evidence that what a man is doing when he ejaculates affects the chemical makeup of his semen. Studies on artificial insemination show that semen collected from a man who used his imagination to become aroused and ejaculate is much less likely to result in conception than a sample collected from a man watching porn, Gallup says. Even more potent is semen collected after coitus interupptus, i.e. pulling out during actual sex. The conditions under which a man becomes aroused and ejaculates has been shown to affect factors like sperm count, shape and mobility.
If semen changes based on context, it's plausible, Gallup asserts, that participating in a rape can affect its chemical makeup. Ovulation-inducing semen would be especially useful during rape, which is usually a one-time encounter. As sinister as it is, the ability to unconsciously adjust semen to make it more potent during rape could be one reproductive strategy that evolved in men to increase their reproductive success.
In addition to the devastating physical and emotional consequences of rape for the victim, things are also grim from the evolutionary perspective. "The problem with rape if conception occurs, is that it precludes making an informed mate choice, which is the principal means by which females maximize their fitness," Gallup says. "And it means that the female is not going to be subject to protection and provisioning by the child's father. Women are left holding the bag, so to speak."
Women appear to have evolved mechanisms to counteract these tactics and control their fertility. I've written about these kinds of dueling reproductive forces, known as antagonist coevolution, before. Some quick examples in human females: Research shows that women engage in less sexually risky behavior around ovulation, when they're likely to get pregnant, and their hand-grip strength, a measure of physical resistance, is enhanced during ovulation if they read a sexual-assault scenario, a mechanism that may have evolved to enable the female to more effectively resist rape when they're fertile.
In saying that women "shut down" pregnancy after rape, Rep. Akin unwittingly stumbled upon the concept that women's bodies reject unfamiliar sperm. In 2006, Gallup and his co-author Jennifer Davis published their theory that preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication that can result in spontaneous abortion, evolved as an adaptive response to unfamiliar semen. (I say unwittingly because Akin was more likely referring to a theory that the fear and trauma of rape causes a woman's fallopian tubes to tighten, thus preventing pregnancy. This idea, proposed by John C. Willke, a physician and a former president of the National Right to Life Committee, has been lambasted by other doctors.)
Psychologist and writer Jesse Bering explained the preeclampsia idea in his excellent post, which I highly recommend you read in its entirety: "By the early 1980s, scientists had started to notice that preeclampsia was more likely to occur in pregnancies resulting from 'one-night stands,' artificial insemination and rape than in pregnancies that were the product of long-term sexual cohabitation. That it was the woman's prior exposure to the male's semen that was responsible for this pattern was evident by the fact that couples who'd been using barrier contraceptives (such as condoms), or who practiced coitus interruptus (in which the man withdraws prior to ejaculation) before they began trying to conceive also had higher rates of preeclampsia than those who'd been engaging in unprotected sex for some time."
Bering continued, "It may be useful to think about preeclampsia not simply as a medical anomaly," reason the authors, "but as an adaptation that may have evolved to terminate pregnancies where future paternal investment was questionable or unlikely."
Now, none of this means that rape-related pregnancies are rare, or that biology should be trusted to ward off these pregnancies. The sheer numbers of pregnancies from rape tell us that it's happening -- a lot. And, obviously, preeclampsia is not the solution. Having the right to choose what to do about it is.
Yeah, the guy made a really stupid and ignorant comment that probably came out even worse than what he was thinking. It's wrong and ridiculous.
So why are we giving him more face time on a tech site? It's a pretty big stretch to take a political story like this and try to make it into a science story.
What next? Going to examine the tale of Humpty Dumpty to see if maybe you can put an egg back together or not? Both are fiction, and everybody in their right mind knows it.
"Ignoring or twisting facts to suit one own goals", this is certainly not politically news to me. Sadly, it’s almost typical or normal quo about our own government.
I adore and love our written down government, but I am so so ready for new leadership!
It is perfectly valid having this story on a tech/science site considering Akin makes a scientifically invalid assertion that a woman's body "shuts down that sort of thing" during a rape. By presenting the science that proves his assertion is wrong and, in fact, showing that the exact OPPOSITE may be true, educates the public and presents.... well.... FACTS! Also keep in mind that this man is on the Congressional Science, Space, and Technology Committee and that alone should send chills up you spine.
I applaud the science in regards to the article! With dealing with the realities of life, we are better able to help woman who are abused and raped, and woman with fertility problems as well.;)
am i the only one disturbed by this article? seriously 1 in 5 women have been raped? what the hell people?
also the fact that this idiot is heading up the governments science department doesn't surprise me. unfortunately government has become something that isn't for the smart people, it's a popularity contest populated by idiots. the system is set up so there will never be smart people in office.
to mars or bust!
First just let me say that figures in this article are disturbing. Chances are these estimates range lower then the real numbers. As a man I don't understand it. Every man out there has a mother, probably sisters, nieces, or other women in their life that they care about. How can something like rape even enter their minds?
I find the current lack of basic scientific understanding in the republican party to be just as disturbing,(but not in the same way.) Is there no common sense? Unprotected sex results in pregnancy. It's how we all got here. The only difference is most of us were probably produced in a willingly.
There are currently 2 foot in mouth republicans catching flack for their ignorant statements but the ignorance is something that seems to prevail throughout a good percentage of the party. You get these kinds of statements when you teach abstinence instead of safety, when you teach creation instead of evolution and when you alter text books in favor of revisionist history.
When did common sense become an oxymoron?
Politicians make very stupid comments all the time that could be considered scientific just as much as this loser congressman's comments. Yet we don't see immediate reaction stories about virtually any of those on popsci. I think this is more indicative of it striking a nerve with someone and this piece being mostly an emotional reaction.
If you're going to cover scientifically inaccurate comments from politicians, you should do so more consistently. But of course, that would require probably multiple articles every single day.
I'm not a Democrat or a Republican, and I sit here and marvel at how people from each call people from the other ignorant about some thing or other. It's silly, illogical, and very divisive to our country.
Look, our brains naturally try to deal with information overload by grouping things together. But society has not advanced enough to help people control those urges to group everything. Grouping is not very productive, just an effective way to deal with more info than we can remember.
For example, let's look at all the different groups this particular congressman is part of, so we can then decry each of those groups as somehow sharing his own backwards opinion:
Worcester Polytechnic Institute alumni
Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member
member of Missouri National Guard
engineer at IBM
So why do people want to somehow attach an individual's bad actions to a specific group that he/she is in, and ONLY that group?
Isn't it just as fair to say that all congressmen are as messed up as this guy, as it is to say it's about being a Republican? Maybe it's a New Yorker thing. Maybe it's a male thing. But no, we group people, and then use that grouping to blame individual poor actions on a particular group that we don't care for, or for our own personal gain of some kind.
This guy's comments were moronic and wrong. But those who blame this guy's party are just as moronic and wrong. If a group doesn't espouse a view, then let's not attribute it to that group. Otherwise, every single group in this whole world could be called terrible things, as every single major group certainly has had very very bad and stupid people in it.
The writer is one person and then we have the commentors on this blog. For a quick survery of groups of people I just listed, the above commentors did not list any political party.
My opinions just reflected upon the fact that our government leaders as a whole has been for a long time currently unable to make a decision and tend to talk out of the sides of their mouths\liars, but while I am very much for the system as it is written down.
Are you aware that our governement for 2 years now is stalled in make budget economic decisions?
Hate to change the subject from the political war being waged above, but I just wanted to say that I liked the article. All attachments to public policy and bipartisan views aside, it's nice to know that there are people that can focus on the facts.
Of course I heard about what he said (and for the fact that I didn't know who he was before and I don't care who he is now, I am not going to scroll up the page to find his name since I already forgot it). And when I heard the comments made I thought, "That's not right. I know that there have definitely been pregnancies from actual rapes." But I didn't know off the top of my head whether Whatshisface was referencing scientific studies or just speaking from his own experiences (oops, didn't mean to implicate anything there! oh, well, I don't have any white-out, so I can't erase it...)
I was kind of wondering whether there were documented studies on the conception rate differences between the two circumstances, but I had not Googled it, when lo, here popsci comes to spread good data! Many of the facts they added I probably would not have found through my Google search, which was also helpful and informative.
The Onion had an entertaining article of a woman <sarcastically> thanking the government guy (heretofore referred to as Whatshisface) for letting her know that a brutal encounter she'd had that she thought was rape could not have been so, since it resulted in a pregnancy. It was sarcastic and darkly humorous, because that's what the Onion does.
WTOP reported that he'd made the comments and that it had caused a lot of controversy and they commented on how it might effect the elections. It was very objective, quick, and informative, because that's what they do.
Popular Science wrote this article. It was full of information explained clearly so that the average person could understand and be informed of the scientific facts. Because that's what Popular Science does.
Ask not why the media is reporting topics, but why the topics cannot be more deserving of the media's attention.
One other point: After the Aurora shootings, the families of the victims asked that the media refrain from using the name or photo of the shooter. It's important to not give him fame for his heinous acts as that would be a reward and encourage copycats, but it's also important to understand what happened in this individual's life that led to such a tragedy, so as to avoid future tragedies.
Whatshisface, however, can easily be ignored and not studied, so I move we stop showing his picture, stop using his name, and start referring to him as the government guy Whatshisface. In fact, when a government official says something REALLY dumb that suggests that they will play a part in terrible legislation, we talk about their deeds, but refer to them as "Whatshisface" or "Whatsherface" that did some dumb thing. I will not be using the name of ANY prospective candidate that has proven to be this ignorant, for fear that swing voters may choose them at the polls, solely for having heard their name so much. (Yeah, that really happens.) :(
It strains belief that some of these commenters are actually complaining about an egregiously wrong(not to mention incredibly regressive and misogynistic) scientific claim being fact-checked on a scientific website. Excuse me? You have absolutely NO RIGHT to whinge and whine about politicians being liars if you oppose actually holding them accountable to the facts. How disgusting.
Always defer to facts rather than philosophy.
Well.... there is the first amendment that says they can complain about whatever they want, but I think freedom of speech also gives everyone else the right to lose respect for those who prefer philosophizing over edumacating.
Though I like your succinct phrashing, J. James.
I really think the whole adaptation argument is very, very misleading in the context of this discussion. First of all, preeclampsia has a low general incidence, and a widely distributed incidence linked to many different factors. So, it is NOT AT ALL like a "Darwinian morning after pill." It happens fairly rarely and it happens for many different reasons, so even if there is a slightly higher incidence in cases involving insemination by strangers, it's ridiculous to treat it as if it were an effective, target-specific evolutionary adaptation the way Bering does (and of course, the way the medical subculture Akin relies on does to an even greater degree.) The same holds for the rapist's semen advantage--if it exists, it is slight, and is certainly not greater than the semen potency advantage associated with other factors found in especially virile men.
I sincerely doubt that 20% of the female population of our nation has been the victim of a rape. This is all part of an agenda to rid the nation of real men. There is a war against masculinity if you haven't noticed. Furthermore, I would venture to guess that they still consider it rape when both parties are completely inebriated and have lost their ability to make rational decisions. In these cases, the woman usually has the ability to recant her inebriated decisions, charge the male with rape, and commit murder... I mean, have an abortion. Meanwhile, a man cannot recant, he is laughed out of court with the same rape charges, and he cannot even choose to simply not support his progeny and let said child live a full life minus a father (not that any father should ever do such a thing). This whole system is BS and I think that most of you know it.
ill tell you what is bs. is that crazy idiots like you are given a forum to speak at. a group of cells isn't a person, and you and your crazy,fake religious beliefs don't have a right to tell a woman what to do with her body. you want that group of cells to live? fine. suck it out, and do what you want with it. bit I wont be involved if i don't want. no matter what you, or your crazy,woman hating,gay hating, Muslim hating, space being, "lord" say.
"real men" you're an f'ing retard
Though I'm not religious myself, I find your anti-hatred hatred very puzzling. Are you really hating on others because they hate? Do you not see the inconsistency in that?
Furthermore, I find your definition of a fetus as a "group of cells" very puzzling as well. Aren't we all just a group of cells? If a pregnant woman goes about her normal life without actively trying to harm her fetus, will it not continue to develop as a human? What is it about the process of having that group of cells pass between your hips that suddenly makes it NOT OK to kill off that group of cells?
In my book, there is no difference between killing a group of cells when it is the size of a tennis ball or when it weighs 15 pounds, inside the womb or not. In my book, there is no difference between a group of cells that is dependent on a mother via umbillical cord and one dependent on a mother via food and shelter after birth. In fact, if anything, it is much harder to kill that group of cells when it is the size of a tennis ball than it is to kill that 15 pound 9-month old baby. With the baby you can neglect it to death pretty easily. With the fetus, you actually have to proactively kill it. And before anyone makes an inane comparison to a tumor or a virus, pregnancy is designed as a method of survival in our current natural human design, while a tumor or a disease is not part of our survival, but something we try to overcome to obtain survival.
And my book is not written by a God, which you so obviously and emphatically hate, it is written by logic and the same social compact that leads virtually every society on earth to ban killing people.
Oh, and that politician's comments were still ignorant, wrong, and I still think he should quit. And rape is wrong and very devastating to the victims. And I believe that the 20% rape number is wrong and is an attempt to mislead for a particular purpose. Even the UN's database lists reported rapes in the US as roughly 0.0003% of the population per year. Over the 80 year average female life, that accumulates to about 2.4%, and I have serious doubts that almost 9 out of 10 rapes go unreported in order to bring that number to 20%. I'm sure many do, but 90% unreported? And who exactly comes up with that figure?
I'd hate to seem like I'm on the side of this j@ck@ss by asking a question, but isn't science supposed to be about asking questions without worrying about the politics behind the answers?
I'm just curious to know if they adjusted for the probability that women who become pregnant from rapes are probably far more likely to report them. I mean it seems like this study seems to be based on the percentage of women who pregnant after reporting their rapes. Just guessing, I'd think a high percentage of women who got pregnant from their rapes would report it than just continuing on as if nothing happened. I mean, I suppose if these numbers are based on reports immediately after, then that isn't really a factor. But if this includes women who report their rapes a few weeks later, then that might heavily skew the numbers.
Thank god for free speech, mine, yours and others. Yes I do have rights, all of us! God Bless America!
While some refer to this Congressman as a moron, I do not. I find he is itelligent in education and in life to achieve a status and power of where he is at. The real problem being so intelligent, he is willing to distort, change science fact for his own personal goals; he is a clever liar in power. Now that is scary.
I knew all the feminists, and outspoken illiterates would have to speak their 2 cents on this article...was just waiting for it.
Now I will go...the guy misspoke, I don't think he meant it maliciously. However, the data that women are more likely to get pregnant by rape is completely bogus. Are most rapists doctors that know a victim's ovulation cycle? Doubt it... The facts most rapes aren't random? Really?
Also, a lot of people seem to take offense to his reference of "legitimate rape", which is really where the debate started, not really the part of 'self fixing' the problem. Let me clear this up..as I was in the military and saw MANY people fall to this.
Way way way too many women are using the call of rape as a threat, a weapon, or a bargaining chip. You can cry all you want, but it's true. Just about any guy likely thinks twice when a woman(not a girl) claims it. People have no idea the irreparable harm such an accusation can cause. So yes, even if Akin's scientific data is off, putting the line to 'legitimate rape' vs 'fake rape' was well justified. You can not 'un ring' the bell caused by such an accusation, and any women found to have falsely accused a man of this needs to be charged, convicted, and imprisoned for the same offense. Watch the false reports drop dramatically.
Now we let one misspoken issue, fueled by 100000 ignorant people and social media frenzies cloud what could have been a potentially good run for this guy, after all he's a 6-termer. Now he really has no choice but to bow out, even if he saved the Pope, people have already made their decision.
The one thing I do agree with...is this article doesn't belong on popsci.
I'll write that procrastination essay tomorrow...
No chance of you exagerating huh... lol.
But I appreciate your opinion and hope others comment too.
@ everyone in particular.
Interesting story about the statistics of rape.
I can speak to my small locale in that I teach martial arts. A girl came in to learn how to defend herself because she had been assaulted by some guy. I saw the bruises and the contusions.
I taught her things to do and she successfully defended herself.
The next time she showed up I had twenty women in my class.
It is easy to talk of things that are abstract when they do not directly concern you, or change the subject and talk about unrelated things.
I am of the opinion that the statistics for rape are accurate. In addition, a life/death scenario has the effect of causing an individual to procreate and ovulation can be induced.
Sperm can last in the female body for up to 5 days.
@snowboardsoldier.. one day I hope you get cornholed and then lets see you tell the whole world when it happens:)
This is off topic from the article, but relates to the comments.
Although I disagree with you, you bring up some pretty good points. I am honestly curious to hear your response to this question.
If a woman has a miscarriage, should she be charged with manslaughter? What if she is found to have eaten foods that are bad for the fetus? Or smoking or drinking?
I'm not trying to play devils advocate (inappropriate term for the line of questioning, I know). Please, someone who shares Marcoreid's opinion on the matter, I would like to hear your thoughts.
@imotep, apparently you have not grasped basic reading or writing comprehension skills. When did I ever justify rape, or diminish the anguish legitimate victims went through? Never. People like you were exactly who I was discounting at the beginning of my post. The statistics are skewed, and you still(as well as many other women) refuse to acknowledge the severity of falsely accusing rape. While Akin's remarks were...ill chosen, I support the purposeful phrasing of the word 'legitimate' because there needs to be a separation. Also my point was that a women that DOES falsely accuse rape to trap/intimidate a man for any reason, needs to be convicted of rape, and serve the time. I bet..at least 25% of men serving sentences for rape, didn't do it, it was consensual, and are serving time based on a he said/she said argument. Just like child support/custody, it's a woman's world, just like everybody is so scared to offend minorities even when they are wrong. This needs to change.
If you want to flame and be a moron, that is your God given right, but at least have it be relevant.
I'll write that procrastination essay tomorrow...
The NY Times reported on the research that this article says concludes "that 1 in 5 women have been raped."
The report was a randomized telephone survey of women, so it relies on self reporting. The Times said this, "nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point." A subtle but different point when including attempted rape. The article also says that the survey defined "sexual violence broadly."
Violence against women is troubling, but my point is to take stats like "1 in 5 women have been raped" within the context in which they are generated, not as a flat statistical fact.
In whole, Abbasi's article was excellent and provides interesting and useful information to counter misinformation with rational thought and science. Without going into Akin's politics, lets just say it appears to get his information from agenda driven sources, rather than science.
This is disturbing news. And it means that human evolution is still almost completely controlled by nature.
We obviously need to do more real science and stop sticking our heads in the sand and relying on superstitious beliefs, because we might wake up one day and find ourselves in...exactly the same state we are now.
Akin's real problem is that he spoke on a contentious issue using a broad generalization that appears to be sourced from agendized pro-life groups and that he can't point to any science to support himself.
But your contention that in saying "legitimate rape," Akin was trying to differentiate between rape and consensual sex that is subsequently falsely characterized as rape is not supported.
Oh, we comprehend you loud and clear. You're one of those nutjobs that believes most women "fake" rape. Most women don't go to the doctor immediately after being raped so there is little medical evidence. I'm sure you would say that going to the doctor is the FIRST thing you would do if some guy butt-raped you, but I seriously doubt if you would be able to overcome your embarrassment for that. So what it comes down to is "she said I raped her". Since I doubt there are many rapists who would admit, "you know, I DID rape her", it becomes a he said she said case. With folks like you, your quest for the rapist to be innocent until proven guilty, you have labeled the alleged victim as guilty until proven innocent. The type of rhetoric you use is pretty indicative of someone who actually HAS raped someone before, and am furious she called you out on it. I really love how you called it "murder" and later invoked the name of God. I challenge you and any others to point out in the Bible where it says abortion is wrong. Unlike 99.5% of you, I HAVE read the book in its entirety, and it says nowhere to protect the rights of an unborn child. There is a reason for this. Back in Bible days, the child wasn't considered a human until it was born and received the "breath of life". In the Torah, it describes an unborn baby as "as part of the woman, like a thigh". It was even the duty of the early clergy to PERFORM ABORTIONS. If a pregnant woman committed a crime, and was sentenced to death, it was the job of the priests to repeatedly PUNCH THE WOMAN IN THE STOMACH until the baby was aborted. This was to prevent the child from being born during her captivity and come into the world with her sins. To all you who think this is a politically charged article and doesn't belong in Popsci: It is a scientific article! Unlike you guys who keep saying they are "exaggerating the statistics", you have NO SOURCES TO BACK YOU UP, while Popsci gives SEVERAL! Not to even mention this guy is on the friggin CONGRESSIONAL SCIENCE COMMITTEE! He is part of the SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY, therefore anything scientific claim he makes is up for Popsci's scrutiny.
" Way way way too many women are using the call of rape as a threat, a weapon, or a bargaining chip. You can cry all you want, but it's true. Just about any guy likely thinks twice when a woman(not a girl) claims it. People have no idea the irreparable harm such an accusation can cause"
"Also my point was that a women that DOES falsely accuse rape to trap/intimidate a man for any reason, needs to be convicted of rape, and serve the time"
... justification pal...
and with regards to comprehension, the main point here is Akin's comments
Besides no need to get bent out of shape. I am certain that if YOU were raped your manly body has ways of shutting down the ensuing HIV and hepatitis C .. right?.. am I right?
And to ToomeyMD: yes, some would have us headed to a point where anything a woman might do to endanger the existence of a collection of cells will be illegal. Women will once again lose control of their own bodies and sexuality. Eating tuna while pregnant will be illegal. Then it would move to riding in a car would illegally endanger this collection of cells. After all, the collection of cells didn't CHOOSE to ride in the car. The leaders of our country will decide for the cells what they choose or don't choose. Paul Ryan collaborated with Akin to try and make several forms of birth control illegal, along with invitro vertilization since some of the testubes are terminated. This is another step backwards to the dark ages. I use the term, "collection of cells", because that what it is! Whether you're a religious freak or not, surely you've read other Popsci articles that show our sense of "self" and intelligence comes entirely from the brain. If you believe in a soul, then the brain is where it lives. You're not a person if you've got no brain! Most cancer cells are more complex than a fetus up to a certain point. Are we going to give them rights as well?
People still not grasping common sense, but please, keep mindlessly touting your closed minded agenda, it makes you less ignorant--no it really does!
I'll write that procrastination essay tomorrow...
@syfyguy you should be a politician, well said soup of nonsense! I call you out on your logic, and suddenly im a rapist and a murderer? What about the victims of those that are falsely accused? What about the mere handslap..if that of those that do it? Get off your high horse. It's not my fault, nor is it others who have been falsely accused that some that DO get raped, don't come forward. That's THEIR decision.
Yes, our justice system is innocent until proven guilty, but advocates like you rather just believe the woman, and fry the guy. Take your feminazi mentality to your other nut job peers, because you clearly have not seen reality lately.
I'll write that procrastination essay tomorrow...