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The Mathematics of 'Legitimate Rape' and Pregnancy

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-said-rape-twice dept.

Math 1469

Hugh Pickens writes "James Hamblin, MD writes in the Atlantic that it's unclear how common the misconception that women rarely become pregnant after rape may be, but remarks by Missouri Senatorial nominee Todd Akin that 'if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down' (video) may provide some benefit as a learning opportunity. 'From a holistic perspective, one might hypothesize that a woman's body could respond to the extreme stress and trauma of enduring rape in such a way that she would be physiologically more likely to miscarry (or not to conceive at all),' writes Hamblin. After all there is a multi-million dollar alternative reproductive health market aimed at optimizing an environment for conception so there could be something to a theory that the other, much darker end of that spectrum functions analogously. But that hypothesis doesn't hold, to any relevant degree. A widely-cited 1996 study from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology sampled over 4,000 women and found that the rape-related pregnancy rate was 5.0 percent and studies from other countries have reported the percentage to be even greater."

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1469 comments

It's okay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069667)

The dumb bitch had it coming. Women use sex as a weapon all the time. ALL THE TIME. This is just their comeuppance. In caveman days this was a perfectly normal way for our male ancestors to deal with the bewildering illogic of most females. We are merely forcing our cultural views on the situation.

And this is tech news (-1, Offtopic)

tom229 (1640685) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069669)

how?

Re:And this is tech news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069693)

Statistics?

Re:And this is tech news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069717)

I'm not sure it's news to anyone other than imbeciles like Akin and Paul Ryan. Or were you attempting the geeks don't ever get girlfriends routine?

Re:And this is tech news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069831)

WTF has Paul Ryan got to do with this? Akin is an asswipe though.

Re:And this is tech news (5, Interesting)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070045)

A lot of people in the press have been playing fast and loose with Paul Ryan's connection to all this (largely for the flimsy reason that they were both cosponsors of the person-hood amendment), so I don't know what GP had in mind. But this much is worth reflecting on: Paul Ryan and Todd Akin also cosponsored a bill that would allow medicaid only to spend money for abortion services for women who were victims of "forcible rape" (instead of just "rape," which is how the law reads now). We might well have wondered why in the world Ryan and Akin thought that distinction was important. We still don't know about Ryan, but the evidence now seems to indicate that, for Akin, the answer may be that only "forcible" rapes are "legitimate." This, IMHO, is a repugnant view and we should be probably inquire to make sure that the GOPs VP nominee doesn't believe it too.

Re:And this is tech news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070139)

And here I thought all rape was forced.. Stupid me!..

Re:And this is tech news (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070143)

Well, there's the little matter of that bill to restrict Federal funding for abortions, based in no small part of kinds of rape (ie. violent vs. statutory) that Akin and Ryan co-sponsored. While Ryan can't really be held to account for Akin's apparently first grade understanding of female reproduction, the fact is that both men are close allies when it comes to how the Federal government should define rape. Ryan isn't in the center of the target, but he's certainly somewhere on it.

Re:And this is tech news (5, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069733)

This is news for nerds, not tech news. Science is for nerds. Math is for nerds. I assume that's why it was added here, since we all know that sex is definitely not for nerds.

Re:And this is tech news (4, Insightful)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070021)

Also, political threads = potential flamewar and lotsa page views. Even free software nerds need money.

Re:And this is tech news (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069781)

Well, actually understanding the science of and mathematics of things in the news falls into the general purview of "News for nerds". It's tenuous, but I found the articles informative and directly related to current events (i.e. "news"). I feel like the article is more on topic than your complaint about it.

Re:And this is tech news (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069819)

Doing a scientific analysis of elements in the news is always good for nerds. It's good for everyone, we need more of it.

Also, consider shit like this [slashdot.org] and this [slashdot.org].

Re:And this is tech news (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070119)

Since when is this a site for *tech* news? There are other sites that do that. This is a "news for nerds" site, and tech news is just part of that.

This "women can't get pregnant from forcible rape" meme has been around for a long time, though, and the right to life movement has been promoting this myth [christianl...ources.com] for years now. It has been used as an argument against emergency contraception [catholicnewsagency.com].

This particular story is about public ignorance of science, so it may not be news *to* nerds, but it qualifies as news *for* nerds. It's not news that ignorant people believe in creationism, it *is* news when creationists use their clout to restrict the teaching of evolution or to give equal billing to creation "science". It isn't news that some people (largely the same people who push creationism) believe a woman can't get pregnant from rape. It *is* news when somebody runs for office proposing to make laws based on that superstition. It's news for *everybody*, but the nerd's special bailiwick is the science and math part.

Nice Political Flamebait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069671)

Nice to see slashdot try to shoehorn this hot-button issue on a site ostensibily about news for nerds.

Bottom line, this isn't a math issue, its a political issue that you are using to drive your pageviews and flamewars.

-1 to timothy for this transparent attempt.

Re:Nice Political Flamebait (4, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070005)

It could well be a math issue - you don't believe statistics is a good way to find out the relative probability of something?

Re:Nice Political Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070103)

Actually it's more of an emotional troll post. It's practically an invite for slashbots to sound like rapey nerd creeps and complain about how only the fratty jocks get laid.

I got accused of rape once (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069673)

Had consensual sex with an ex girlfriend and she stayed in bed with me for about 5 hours. The next day I was accused of rape. Ruined my life.

Charges were dropped after a year and she apologized 6 years later.

Women lie about rape. Most rape accusations are lies from a slutty woman who regrets her decision after the fact.

Re:I got accused of rape once (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069841)

Had consensual sex with an ex girlfriend and she stayed in bed with me for about 5 hours. The next day I was accused of rape. Ruined my life.

Charges were dropped after a year and she apologized 6 years later.

Women lie about rape. Most rape accusations are lies from a slutty woman who regrets her decision after the fact.

Women are like so many other things: you just can't skimp on quality and then complain when you get burned.

I hope you have learned to stop feeling attracted to sluts. Yes the easy gratification can seem appealing when you're weak, but I'm telling you, it's not worth it. You'd know that if you have ever known a quality lady who respects herself. A lady who respects herself would never have done this to you. No, you went for the troubled one who looked so vulnerable and accessible. As I have heard it said: beware the wounded dove - she'll wound you.

That's true even when they don't exploit our female-centric legal system (the one assuming all men are evil, nasty, brutish, predatory abusers unless proven otherwise, and it sure is hard to prove a negative, to prove you didn't do something, course they know that...). Women are magical beings. They are highly skilled in the art of mindfuck. They don't actually need the legal system to fuck up your entire world, if you get a rotten woman that is. The one you describe, she was just lazy.

Guys, stop thinking with your dicks and dating these sluts and whores who don't give a fuck about you. They're using you, usually for attention, sometimes to fuck you over real good like the guy above describes. Just like you're using them to get your rocks off. Stop this shit. For everyone's sake. No it doesn't make you a man to think with the wrong head. It makes you an impulsive undisciplined boy who can't say no to the slightest temptation. If you actually ARE a pig, don't expect any real lady to ever respect you.

Re:I got accused of rape once (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069859)

Most rape accusations are lies from a slutty woman who regrets her decision after the fact.

It is hard to imagine that such a misogynist could ever be accused of rape. Forgive me if I doubt your story when in the same post you stereotype women, assume most rape accusations are lies, and that primarily 'sluts' are raped.

Re:I got accused of rape once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069935)

People lie about lots of things, little and small. For example, you lied when you said "Most rape accusations are lies from a slutty woman who regrets her decision after the fact."

Attempting to reduce the seriousness of rape accusations doesn't help your cause, however. Indeed, it is only by maintaining seriousness about such accusations that we can protect both men and women equally; Women, from rape; Men, from false accusation.

There are always going to be crazy men who rape women, and there will always be crazy women who falsely accuse men. We don't make that situation better by apologizing for either side.

Re:I got accused of rape once (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070147)

Sorry that you suck so badly at sex that women want it to not count.

Hey, Mr. Akin! WCFCYA! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069687)

Or at least science can.

5% (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069695)

Maybe the 5% rape-related pregnancy rate is in part accounted for by "rapes" like the Julian Assange case, in which we can't really say that the victims are very affected.

There are no Facts (5, Insightful)

Herkum01 (592704) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069699)

The whole reason that this comes up is because you get guys, who ignore facts and place their bias out there are the truth. This is why you get Kentucky trying to get rid of evolution, stupid senators making dumb comments about rape. Throw in the good ole-boy network of reenforcing stupidity (on basically anything) we get these stupid statements and stupid laws.

Re:There are no Facts (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069895)

I wouldn't be so sure his flawed understanding of rape and conception is his motivation for opposing abortion in the case of rape.

I understand women can get pregnant from a rape, but still think abortion in the case of rape should be outlawed. The child is still a life and isn't responsible for the rape. Therefore, the child doesn't deserve to be punished with death for a crime he or she didn't commit.

Re:There are no Facts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070137)

If the fetus has a right to life, than all women who miscarriage need to be investigated to determine if they should be charged with some variation of manslaughter/murder over the death of their fetus (after all a miscarriage due to negligence is just as bad as letting a toddler drown in the bathtub isn't it?)

Or you know, we could call birth the point at which you count as being "alive" and then not need to worry about all the edge cases like rape.

Parenthood rights for child rapists??? (1, Offtopic)

hamjudo (64140) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069701)

If the mother is under the age of consent when giving birth, you can be sure she was under the age of consent at the time of conception. So we can be sure that in 100% of those cases, it was statutory rape.

Re:Parenthood rights for child rapists??? (0)

Aranykai (1053846) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069749)

Other than the fact that its not statutory rape if the father was also under the age of consent. And then there are those of us who live in non-linear time.

Re:Parenthood rights for child rapists??? (1, Offtopic)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069943)

And then there are those of us who live in non-linear time.

Are you trying to say that the parent is educated stupid?

Re:Parenthood rights for child rapists??? (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069767)

You assume the father is of majority age.

Sp she's 5 and he's 14? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070003)

And that isn't statutory rape???

Re:Parenthood rights for child rapists??? (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070089)

Total logic fail. A 15 year old male having sex with a 15 year old female is not statutory rape. You lose.

There's a better reason (2, Interesting)

flanders_down (2424442) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069705)

"But that hypothesis doesn't hold, to any relevant degree. A widely-cited 1996 study from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology sampled over 4,000 women and found that the rape-related pregnancy rate was 5.0 percent and studies from other countries have reported the percentage to be even greater."

A more likely explanation is that the women were already using some form of birth control or that they simply were not in the fertile period of their cycle.

Re:There's a better reason (4, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069921)

I think the telling point there that is even with the various women on birth control, not ovulating, etc, that there were still 5% (or higher) that still managed to get pregnant after one unwanted sexual encounter.

Re:There's a better reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070115)

Or they took the morning-after pill.

Missing the point... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069709)

Presumably James Hamblin is an older white male. He seems to be missing the point here. The problem with the statement isn't that it's factually / scientifically inaccurate. The problem is the term "legitimate rape." The senator's statements (if taken with any bit of truth) imply that if a women were to get pregnant in the case of rape it was not a "legitimate" or "real" rape.

This is just more from the "war on women" department. And while I don't agree with the stupid soundbite slogan "war on women" -- the disturbing trend which gives rise to it is a serious problem politically, but more important, socially.

Re:Missing the point... (5, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069845)

Well, there's two problems. When someone says something like this, you have to do two things: 1. Get rid of the idiot who said them (that's what you're doing). And 2. Disprove what he said so that fewer people believe it in the future. That's what Hamblin is doing. Doing one doesn't remove the need for the other.

Re:Missing the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069993)

OP here,

Attempting to "disprove" what he said, in my opinion, only serves to legitimize what he said. The way you disprove it is by calling out the fallacy of "legitimate rape" not by giving any sort of credance to the idea that he might be correct about the female bodie's response to trauma in times of fertility. The fact that these numbers were run at all presupposes the dichotomy of legitimate vs. illegtimate rape, and for that, Dr. Hamblin has already failed.

Re:Missing the point... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069873)

Actually, what he suggested with his comments was that we can't allow abortions in cases of rape because women will just lie to get access to abortions (because, duh, if it was really rape they wouldn't be pregnant). Which is a far worse blunder, IMO.

Re:Missing the point... (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069949)

the disturbing trend which gives rise to it is a serious problem politically, but more important, socially.

Its a disturbing religious problem too. Look at the point of view of a brainwashed cult member when someone does something that their whacked out belief system doesn't like, in this example, abortion. Well, god certainly isn't going to punish her because there is none, this evidence creates huge cognitive dissonance issues for the cult members. And society is not going to punish her because outside of the cult no one cares, although the cult likes to tell itself everyone is a member, which makes huge cognitive dissonance issues for the cult members. So... abandoned by god and abandoned by society, how is a cult with some remaining political power supposed to react... Ah I know, use the law to enforce religious beliefs, so everyone, including the people outside the cult, have to live like cult members. That's the religious crisis, the religion is dying by becoming less relevant. Thus the desperate grasping at straws to legislate their twisted morality onto everyone else.... "You may not believe, you may not care about us, but dammit men with guns and judges in robes will force you to live like us, like it or not !!!" Its a classic symptom of a dying religion.

See, a living, stable, maybe growing religion would not feel pressured to lash out. And frankly I as long as its consenting adults, etc, I don't care what crazyness cult members do to each other. As long as they leave the sane people, the non-members, the non-believers, alone... but no, they're terrified of their cults mortality so they lash out at the rights of everyone else.

'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (3, Insightful)

Lexible (1038928) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069723)

There must also be 'illegitimate rape,' right? Send that clown packing back to the anti-woman nut house he escaped from.

Re:'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (3, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069897)

I don't get all this hubbub about "illegitimate rape" and what it means. It doesn't mean anything, because there's no such thing. Akin was using "legitimate" as an intensifier, not a qualifier. The opposite of legitimate rape isn't "illegitimate rape", it's consensual sex. What Akin meant was that if you got pregnant from a rape, it wasn't rape. You enjoyed it, you slut.

Re:'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (1)

necro81 (917438) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070077)

The opposite of legitimate rape isn't "illegitimate rape", it's consensual sex. What Akin meant was that if you got pregnant from a rape, it wasn't rape. You enjoyed it, you slut.

Well, gosh, if he'd just come out and said that, everything would be OK! That's definitely the kind of person we want making critical decisions on public health and obstetrics.

Re:'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (2, Interesting)

hawks5999 (588198) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069905)

Well, there is statutory rape that may be non-violent and even consensual.

Then there is a belief that all sex is a violent act against woman, most often misattributed as "All sex is rape" to Catherine MacKinnon or Andrea Dworkin. And while a mis-quote and mis-attribution, it has been repeated enough that it holds some place in society's subconscious.

So while using the term "legitimate rape" was horrifically stupid, it has some basis in trying to differentiate forced rape or assault rape from things like statutory or "all sex is..." rape.

Re:'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069913)

Yes, there are numerous reports of rape that are illegitimate every day.

Re:'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069971)

It doesn't matter really, his remarks only are credible if he has a D next to his name (for those of you on slash dot, that means Democrat). I wouldn't say he was anti-woman, just stupid. I for one am sick of the he said this so he's anti-womanhood and all of that. You know, judgmental labels.

This story doesn't really belong on here, but hey this site lost credibility with the global warming every other news story posts anyway.

Re:'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070001)

Presumably this would apply to incidents where after a fully consensual (and multihour session as one poster described above), the woman changes her mind about it the next day or possibly gets pressured by her parents or others to retroactively alter events. In incidents of "statutory rape" where both involved are similar in age and it's more a matter of calendar dates rather than abuse, I'd also call that illegitimate - as in not legitimately what I would consider such.

Legitimate, in this case: forced, nonconsensual sexual activity.

Re:'Cause if there's 'legitimate rape' (5, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070127)

Send that clown packing back to the anti-woman nut house he escaped from.

The Ecuadorian embassy is going to get very crowded.

doesn't need a lot of 'mathematics' (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069757)

The hypothesis is that women do not get pregnant through sex unless the sex was consensual, and the evidence is that in fact they do. I suppose some statistics would be involved if you wanted to do a hypothesis test. But it's not some complex mathematical model, nor hugely contested.

Re:doesn't need a lot of 'mathematics' (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069927)

nor hugely contested.

Only to the extent that people believe scientific facts over emotionally appealing nonsense. Which in the United States is literally a minority of the population. Reaffirming the truth of the matter publicly is a good thing.

Re:doesn't need a lot of 'mathematics' (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070051)

Yes. However the big problem is setting up the study. Can't be double blind, obviously (cue jokes about blind politicians), be awfully hard to be prospective. So, I'm going to guess that the study in OB/GYN was a questionairre study. Those are terrible from a statistical point of view - multiple types of selection bias, poor recall, etc.

Further, if it was done in 1965, that is pretty much in the middle of the paleolithic era as far as OB's are concerned. They were invariably male and generally chauvinistic. The primary US textbook for OB, William's Obstetrics had an index entry [theunnecesarean.com] "Male Chauvinism, voluminous amounts, pages 1-1120" (the entire book). So the veracity of the data is a tad suspect.

Anyway, the actual number really is not all that significant. If it's true that 'real rape' tends not to support pregnancy, unless the effect is essentially 100%, the argument against abortion falls flat.

Re:doesn't need a lot of 'mathematics' (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070145)

Yeah, I agree with the difficulty of setting up a study. I'll have to check to see if I can find a good reference, but I do believe there is some good historical evidence that a significant number of pregnancies have resulted from mass rape during wartime—enough that these events can be traced in population genetics. Admittedly it's at least theoretically possible that rape within a civilized society during peacetime is different from mass-rape during wartime in some biologically important way.

Rape is better than consentual relations... (3, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069761)

One of the many books I've read on the subject - I believe it was O -The Intimate History of the Orgasm [amazon.com] actually stated that in studies rape lead to a higher fertilization rate than consensual relations. I won't get into the theory of why, because it will potentially piss off feminists. I'll just say it is documented and statistically significant.

Rape more likely to lead to pregnancy (5, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069957)

Based on no empirical evidence, I am guessing that rapes are actually more likely to lead to pregnancy than consensual sex because of modern family planning. A woman who is expecting sex is more likely to be using birth control than a woman who is raped.

Re:Rape more likely to lead to pregnancy (3, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070035)

No, the study tracked people wanting to have kids.

Re:Rape is better than consentual relations... (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069977)

That's not hard to guess at.

Which of the following groups is more likely to be using some kind of birth control?
1. Women who are anticipating consensual sex in the near future.
2. Women who are not anticipating non consensual sex in the near future.

Re:Rape is better than consentual relations... (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069987)

I won't get into the theory of why, because it will potentially piss off feminists. I'll just say it is documented and statistically significant.

Well, I'm sold. Excuse me while I go fire off a mass email to my elderly relatives.

Woah woah (5, Funny)

gadzook33 (740455) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069775)

Take your science and your math somewhere else. If we were interested in facts and evidence we wouldn't have joined the GOP.

Re:Woah woah (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069885)

Take your science and your math somewhere else. If we were interested in facts and evidence we wouldn't have joined the GOP.

Oh, the GOP can twist statistics and science with anyone else out there. Can't just blame them for this. This fellow is a social conservative, the sort who can tell you exactly how you should be living, by their better standards. Reminds me in some ways of people of a more extreme bent who don't bother talking about it, but let their actions speak for them (particularly when they can find a willing sucker to carry them out.)

Re:Woah woah (2)

gadzook33 (740455) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069955)

Yes, I agree. Unfortunately the GOP is much more about social conservatism these days than about fiscal. And when they do talk economics they focus on 1% of the federal budget type stuff and ignore the pentagon programs (venting here because I've been party to huge amounts of waste on the defense side).

Another overblown news story (1, Insightful)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069789)

Yeah, the dude is a douche, no question. But even as someone totally opposite of probably everything he believes, I knew what he was saying was women forced to have sex vs those who lie about it afterwords. And what he thought might happen, as pointed out be earlier poster, isn't entirely unbelievable. If there is a market to help you get pregnant, there could be a 'mechanism' that prevents pregnancy. Possible, studied, and rejected. So he is an uninformed idiot. Beyond that there isn't much news to it, BUT in the world we live, were a company with less than 10% market share can be the most valuable company in history, there has to be something to make the news sell.

This my friends is a result of showing how easily you (the proverbial you, as a population) can be fooled into thinking something is important, when it is not. Everything you have seen on TV on this issue, is about selling commercials, nothing more. And from what I can tell, is working exactly as planned.

Re:Another overblown news story (1)

necro81 (917438) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070029)

So he is an uninformed idiot

Yes, and I definitely want an uninformed idiot representing me in the Senate!

Re:Another overblown news story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070065)

And I suppose it's also not important that such an ignorant blowhard sits on House Committee on Science?
http://science.house.gov/about/membership

Re:Another overblown news story (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070113)

There is a mechanism to prevent pregnancy in the human body, but it is a mechanism that detects genetic defects and his has nothing to do with rape.

What Akin said (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069801)

What Akin said is the way he believes it works, as advised by someone who shares his beliefs in pro-life.

What Akin truly missed out on was a golden opportunity to keep his ignorant trap shut, other than to refer to medical journals. Elections are dangerous times to be spewing things you know little to nothing about, giving air to your personal views. He now has a snowball's chance in Hell of being elected, but doesn't seem interested in aborting his campaign.

There is Science & Medicine and there are the political ways people try to interpret, shape and steer what studies say, then there are idiologues, who even the mainstream can identify as nuts, particularly the gender who are saddled with an unwanted pregnancy and are forbidden to do anything about it.

Re:What Akin said (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069947)

No, what he said was, "even if the pussy's laser beam of justice misses and the woman gets pregnant, she should not be allowed to get an abortion."

What he meant was:
1. "I meant to say that rape sperm is too angry to inseminate an egg."

2. "I meant to say that vaginas are like snapping turtles that will bite off a rapist's penis."

3. "I meant to say 'forcible rape.' You know, like Paul Ryan believes."

4. "I didn't mean 'legitimate rape.' Everyone know that a child from a rape is probably going to end up illegitimate."

5. "By 'legitimate rape," I meant a rape that happens because of Obamacare, which is raping the future for our children...That probably didn't help, did it?"

6. "Wait, the penis has to go in the vagina? Eww, gross."

7. "I truly thought I was on the 'Jackoff Report.'"

8. "I meant to say 'from what I understand from my ass,' not 'doctors.' Easy mistake."

9. "I can pretty much guarantee that I'm infertile and that my balls have shrunk to the size of raisins. Yes, that's what I meant to say."

10. "I meant to say that I support a personhood amendment, you know, like Paul Ryan does. It's pretty much just as evil and ignorant, but it sounds less assholish."

Link, as if you couldn't guess by now: http://rudepundit.blogspot.mx/2012/08/what-todd-akin-meant-to-say-so.html [blogspot.mx]

Re:What Akin said (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069985)

but [Akin] doesn't seem interested in aborting his campaign

Well, duh! He's pro-life isn't he? Stands to reason that he'd be pro-campaign as well...

so basically (1)

NynexNinja (379583) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069837)

if she really wanted it, she'd keep it, otherwise she'd abort it... thats a nice backwoods theory. its nice that we have the people making the laws in this country coming up with this half-baked theories. Maybe they will use these half-baked theories to further take away women's rights? Lets take one step forward, and five steps back. :(

Correlation (4, Insightful)

SlashDread (38969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069839)

When you get pregnant after rape, you either secretly liked it, or it was consentual.
The bastards the US calls politicians never seize to amaze me with their vile.

Re:Correlation (-1, Troll)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070009)

When you get pregnant after rape, you either secretly liked it, or it was consentual.
The bastards the US calls politicians never seize to amaze me with their vile.

So if a raped woman wants an abortion, do they call it "buyers remorse"?

Re:Correlation (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070043)

Sounds like at least a few Republicans have something in common with the Taliban...

the basic fact is that Akin is a dumb hick (2)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069853)

and fully believes all kinds of impossible, stupid, and just plain unrealistic things. it's in his blood.

Re:the basic fact is that Akin is a dumb hick (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069899)

The problem isn't Akin specifically, the problem is that our electorate is badly broken if someone like him managed to get this far.

It's democracy, folks. Garbage in, garbage out.

Re:the basic fact is that Akin is a dumb hick (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070095)

Society is broken. We're a point where a significant number of people believe their opinions are just as valid as scientific proof, even if they don't put it in those exact words.

Re:the basic fact is that Akin is a dumb hick (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070135)

Exactly, I don't blame him for anything. He's got the votes, and that's all that counts. And something must be wrong with his opponent because the race is very close. Sad indeed.

So 10-15 rape babies born each year... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069871)

The number is so insignificant it shouldn't even be brought up as any kind of argument for anything that could affect the population as a whole.

RAPE is still RAPE (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069923)

Subject says all. How the hell can rape be legitimate? This is not some abstract thing. It is a horrible.

Re:RAPE is still RAPE (3, Insightful)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070047)

It is true that one common meaning of the word "legitimate" is "lawful". But another common use of the word "legitimate" is to imply merely that it actually -happened-. For instance: a legitimate arson would be one where a guy burned a building down for fun. A non-legitimate arson would be where a guy burned down a building because the owner of the building paid him to as part of an attempt at insurance fraud. Similarly,
a "legitimate rape" would be one in which nonconsensual sex was forced on someone. An illegitimate rape would be "girl pretends that consensual sex wasn't to get back at her boyfriend". Neither of those situations are pleasant, but they do both occur.

what the hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41069951)

how do they study this?

Something's still strange, though... (2)

Millennium (2451) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069991)

If the odds of becoming pregnant through rape are 5%, that actually puts them at somewhat higher than through ordinary means (which are thought to be about 1 in 30). How does one account for that?

Honest question; I don't know how that would work.

Raise your hand (1)

necro81 (917438) | about a year and a half ago | (#41069997)

Raise you hand if you, too, are tired of politicians - mostly old white men - spouting forth pretending to be obstetricians! Why bother advocating for certain policies from an informed and intelligent position, when ideology and wishful thinking will suffice!

What we need are politicians who aren't afraid to confront the real threat to society: that dastardly man in the red jacket that makes a career or breaking into people's homes, that twisted anti-thief terrorist, Santa Claus!

Too bad it isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070013)

Anything to weed rapists out of the gene pool would be a good thing. Maybe genetic engineering can someday fix things so men and women have complete control over their fertility.

WTF Slashdot? (1)

lintmint (539531) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070069)

What's next? Discussing the validity of Hitler's final solution?

Some dip shit politician makes an ignorant offensive comment which is fine to report in the news but by discussing it's validity Slashdot adds credence to it.

Here's the facts. Some people have reproductive issues so there's an industry to help them. Evolution happens to favor procreation so for most of us if you combine 3 healthy specimens consisting of an egg, woman, & sperm guess what happens?

It's an insult to every rape victim that ever got pregnant to imply that it was anything less than rape and shame on this whole damn site for providing the opportunity to debate that maybe the victim wasn't "truly" raped.

Mathematics of "personhood at birth" (4, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070071)

Something that *never* gets brought up (and ignored in discussions when I bring it up) is this fact: my genetics prof. when I was a freshman in college pointed out that if you believe that conception starts at fertilization then about 3/4 of the people conceived never are even born. This is because of the body's spontaneous abort mechanism that ceases pregnancies that have genetic problems.

I wonder if Akin confused this with his idea that rape victims spontaneously abort. (Given Akin's lack of intelligence this is probably given him too much credit).

Of course this idea sets a lot of the anti-abortion arguments on it's ear, since if you believe it then hell is filled with unbabtised babies.

But is the 5% figure from legitimate rape? (1)

Prune (557140) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070087)

The summary cites a study showing 5% pregnancy rate from rape. But were those rapes "legitimate"?

Put this Fking thing to rest! (0, Troll)

na1led (1030470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41070101)

If it had been anyone else who made this remark, even Obama, no one would care! The media is on the attack and will use any lame stupid excuse to attack someone they don't like. I'm sick of hearing it, I don't care, it doesn't concern me, just shut up already!

Numbers don't add up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41070117)

I'm confused about the numbers in the paper's abstract. They say the pregnancy rate is 5%, and the number of resulting pregnancies annually in the U.S. is 32,000. That means the number of incidents of rape is 640,000.

Other sources [wikipedia.org] claim the number of reported rapes in the U.S. is around 90,000. How do we reconcile these numbers? Surely the authors don't claim that 86% of rapes in the U.S. go unreported?

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