Dylan Farrow is in a situation that thousands deal with every day. In general, people want to look away, muttering some variant of "he said/she said." But, that phrase implies an equivalence where we have a gross imbalance, because "he" is more trusted, virtually always, in every capacity, than "she."Chemaya also makes the connection between the myth of false rape accusations and the push for anti-abortion measures such as waiting periods: laws and customs based on the idea that women cannot be trusted. It's very worth reading; major trigger warnings for survivors. Here.
There is a substantial body of research documenting our preference for thinking of men as more competent and moral. Researchers who studied gendered speech patterns found that people expect different kinds of lies from men and women and that women are considered more trustworthy, unless lies include another person, in which case, confidence in the veracity of what women say plummets. . . .
That everyone "knows" girls and women lie about sexual assault is a dangerous and enduring myth. A survey of college students revealed that the majority believed up to 50% of their female peers lie when they allege rape, despite wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies that show the incidence of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range.
Yes, there are false claims, but they occur in roughly the same numbers as false claims for other crimes. As the Equality for Women's Charles Clymer pointed out recently, based on FBI and Department of Justice information, "The odds of the average straight man (the target group overwhelmingly concerned with this) in the U.S. being accused of rape are 2.7 million to 1."
The chances of actually being sexually assaulted?
1 in 3-to-4 for girls (before they turn 18)
1 in 5-to-7 for boys (before they turn 18)
1 in 5 for women
1 in 77 for men
child sexual abuse in context: soraya chemaly asks, "are children supposed to document their abuse?"
Soraya Chemaly places Dylan Farrow's claim in the context of rampant child sexual abuse, and the persistent myth of false rape claims.