Sunday, September 9, 2012

Akin and the Truth

In the firestorm resulting from baseless attacks on Akin the simple truth of what he said is being ignored.

Akin is being taken to task for two things:
  • The use of the phrase “legitimate rape”
  • The claim that women who are “legitimately raped” are unlikely to get pregnant

Akin has already apologized and said his words did not convey what he was thinking.  Just as President Obama’s reference to “Polish” death camps did not mean that Obama holds the Polish people responsible for the German Nazi death camps that happened to be located in occupied Poland.

Yet the same people who don’t even think that Obama should apologize for and correct his comment are declaring Aiken to be the epitome of evil.

While there were no “Polish” death camps there are cases where the term rape is used “illegitimately”. The most obvious are the 4-8% of reported rapes where the woman is lying.  Additionally modern liberal feminists have so distorted the definition of rape as to make it meaningless.  An extreme example of that can be seen at

“To put the point another way, having granted that “no” always means no, we must recognize that, in some cases, “yes” also means no. There are many kinds of explicit and implicit threats that render a woman's consent to sex less than meaningful: ... or simply to sulk and make her life miserable for days should she refuse to have sex. Which (if any) such nonviolent coercive pressures should be regarded as rape, either morally or legally, is a matter of some controversy (Schulhofer 1998; Burgess-Jackson 1996, 91-106).”

Declaring that a woman who voluntarily chooses to have sex rather than endure a man “sulking” has been raped is an insult to those women who are really raped.

By declaring nearly all heterosexual sex to be rape extreme liberal feminists help destroy the sense of outrage all should have towards rape. This is similar to what liberals who say that calling the President “angry” is on par with the odious race hatred of the KKK do to reduce the impact of the word racist.

A woman who dresses like a whore and goes to a strange mans hotel room at 2 in the morning and makes out with him is completely innocent and a victim of “legitimate” rape if she doesn’t say it’s ok to continue and the man doesn’t stop.

Akin was using the word legitimate to distinguish between what the vast majority of Americans view as rape and liberal feminists all encompassing condemnation of pretty much all heterosexual sex.

Akins use of the term “legitimate” in this context was stupid and understandably, especially in light of how it has been misreported, caused suffering for those women who have been raped. But it, just like Obama’s Poland comment, does not reflect an evil intent.

One of the points Akin was trying to make is that abortions due to rape are very rare and should not be used to keep abortions of convenience legal. 

According to research done by the Alan Guttmacher institute--a virulently pro-abortion organization spun off from Planned Parenthood--only 1% of abortions in America are the result of  Yet liberal pro-abortion extremists use rape to push to keep sex selection abortions legal right up until the moment the child is born.

In reaction to those lies Akin wanted to establish that the victims of the type of rape most Americans think of when they think of rape are not very likely to get pregnant.  

There are two broad classes of rape, forcible and non-forcible. Both are horrible violations of a woman and in both cases the woman is a completely innocent victim.

When they hear rape the average American thinks of a man using force or the threat of force to compel a women to have sex against her will.  These were the cases Akin was trying to identify when he stupidly used the word “legitimate”.

In many cases when a woman is raped however she is not being physically forced to have sex.  For example when a 27 year old man psychologically manipulates an emotionally and psychologically immature 15 year old girl into having sex with him it is rape and the girl is completely innocent even if she is not actually averse to the event at the time.  We have juvenile courts because we realize the young are usually not competent enough to be held to adult standards. 

Liberals who declare that a woman is just as likely to get pregnant in a forcible rape as she would if she were making love to her husband are saying that at a physical level the woman’s body, but not her mind, is in fact consenting to the rape; her body is just as willing to make a baby with her rapist as with her husband.

The “evil” Akin on the other hand is saying that woman who is being forcibly raped is not even consenting at a purely physical level to the horrible act being done to her.  Akins position ascribes an even more fundamental rejection of the rape to the innocent victim than the liberal position does.

While liberals claim there is scientific data for their position the one study they invoke did not separate non-forcible rape from forcible rape.

There is some evidence that pregnancy is very rare in cases of forcible rape.  A typical woman who has one act of sex with her “significant” other has roughly a 4-5% chance of getting pregnant--see . 

Eugene F. Diamond, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Past Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine wrote in the April 11, 1985 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that:

“Pregnancy is rare after a single act of forcible rape. In a prospective study of 4000 rapes in Minnesota, there were no pregnancies. In a retrospective study covering nine years in Chicago, there were no pregnancies. In a prospective study of 117 rapes there were no pregnancies among either the 17 victims who received DES or the 100 who did not.”

Similarly anecdotal evidence and other studies indicate that the pregnancy rate in forcible rapes is less than 0.2% or 25 times less than the rate when a woman has one act of sex with her husband.

We know that a woman’s emotional and psychological state can impact her ability to become pregnant so it’s hardly counter-intuitive to claim that the trauma of rape would reduce the chances of pregnancy. We also know that when forcibly raped a woman’s body does not experience several changes that facilitate the safe transport of the mans sperm to the woman’s egg.  Additionally from an evolutionary perspective a woman who would have a child with any man who could forcibly rape her would seem to be at an evolutionary disadvantage.

At this time there is no definitive scientific evidence that Akin is wrong and there are data that indicate he might be right. Hence while we may find that Akin was wrong in the future it is not as though he was claiming the Sun orbits the Earth.

The question we need to address is why conservatives always attack their own in cases like this. Rather than saying, as Democrats do when Democrats say stupid things, “yeah Akin did a horrible job expressing what he was thinking but it is the Democrats who have the warped idea that killing your daughter is a good thing to do after you’re raped” conservatives condemn their own.

If Akin meant what the liberals say he meant then by all means we should condemn him. But when he merely used the wrong word while trying to say the right thing why should we team up with the liberal media who are purposely distorting what he meant to say?

His opponent says that if a child’s father is a rapist she should be killed. Conservatives should be condemning that from the rooftops not Akins verbal misstep.

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