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The Mathematics of 'Legitimate Rape' and Pregnancy

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | about 2 years ago

Math 0

Hugh Pickens writes 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" 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. "As pervasive as abortion conversation is, it's important that we're all on the same page about reproductive physiology. How common is this belief that rape rarely leads to pregnancy? If people are earnestly advancing a cause that mistakenly overlooks 32,000 annual rape-related pregnancies, Akin's remarks calling this to light may have an upside.""

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