Mammoth hunting requires no math

Which appears to be a good thing, seeing as how David Futrelle can’t grasp the relevant rape statistics:

I thought I’d seen every variety of rape apologism known to humankind. But this is a new one for me: Fantasy author and garbage human Vox Day has decided that all claims of rape directed at white guys are suspect because … white guys don’t rape.

No, really. That’s his actual argument:

    White American men simply don’t rape these days. At this point, unless a woman claims it was committed by a black or Hispanic man she didn’t previously know, all claims of rape, especially by a college woman, have to be considered intrinsically suspect.

His, er, source for these claims? A post from the website Women For Men — founded by familiar names Suzanne Venker, Helen Smith and Christina Hoff Sommers — about a video of unknown provenance of a shouting match that involves a white woman accusing a presumably white man of rape. (There are no details on the alleged incident, and it’s not clear from watching the almost literally unbelievable video what exactly happened or if the video is even real.) Needless to say, even if the video is 100% real it doesn’t actually provide anything even remotely approaching evidence for Vox’s racist claims.

Which isn’t surprising given that they aren’t, you know, true. When it comes to rape, of course, whites and blacks are overwhelmingly — roughly 8 out of 10 times — victimized by members of their own race And in most cases, as is well-known, rapes are committed by people the victim knows, not the proverbial man hiding in the bushes.

Well, no, that’s not “my actual argument”. It’s always amusing to see how the anklebiters try to pretend rhetoric is dialectic and vice-versa, depending upon what suits their purpose at the moment. Futrelle’s posturing is nothing but pure rabbit rhetoric; statistical analysis is not apology. If he actually wants the dialectical form of the argument, it is this: all claims of rape directed at white guys are intrinsically suspect because white men in America are disproportionately disinclined to commit rape. If he wishes a dialectical debate on the merits of that argument, then let us entertain his critique, by all means.

But Futrelle has no genuine intention of contesting the dialectical level, he is merely countering rhetorically-charged dialectic with dialectic-flavored rhetoric. Nevertheless, let us take Mr. Futrelle’s pseudo-dialectic at face value. According to the FBI, there were 13,886 rape arrests in 2012. Of them, 9,027 (65%) arrestees were “white” men, and 4,512 (35%) were black men. Wow, that just completely disproves my point that white men don’t commit much rape, given that 65 percent is reasonably close to the white percentage of the population (72.4), right?

Not so fast. The FBI counts both white and Hispanic offenders as “white” for statistical purposes. But there are other ways to fill in the missing information, which is to say estimate how those 9,027 arrests are distributed between white men and Hispanic men.

While no comprehensive reports have been done, every smaller report I have read indicates that Hispanics commit rape and other sex offenses at a disproportionate rate; some even show that they do so in excess of the black rate. (It is a basic police heuristic that if it’s a financial crime, it’s a white; a violent crime, a black; a sex crime, a Hispanic.) But, in order to be conservative, we shall assume that the Hispanic proclivity to commit sex offenses is no greater than the known black rate. Since the rate of black arrests is 2.77 times the black percentage of the population, applying the same multiplier to the Hispanic percentage indicates that 45.6 percent or 4,113 of the “white” men arrested for rape were actually Hispanic.

This means that actual white men only represent 29.6 percent of rape arrests, which indicates that white men are 59 percent less likely to commit rape than the average individual and 85 percent less likely to commit rape than a black or Hispanic man. For those who think in ratios rather than percentages, this means that the risk of rape posed by the average black or Hispanic man is at least 6.76 times greater than that posed by the average white man.

Since a number of Mr. Futtrelle’s readers have foolishly assumed that I am defending white men out of self interest, I should point out that for good or for ill, none of these statistics apply to me. While there are no relevant crime statistics for multiracial individuals, it turns out there are for men who are “American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races”. With a 0.59 arrest/population ratio, we are 1.43 times more likely to commit rape than white men.

So, while it is certainly correct to say that white men engage in an amount of rape these days, they commit such a relatively small percentage of them in comparison with their percentage of the population that if college women are reporting more rapes by white men than by black or Hispanic men, their reports must be regarded as statistically improbable, ideologically motivated, and intrinsically suspicious. But of course we all know that there are statistical outliers, given that John Scalzi is white and he has reliably informed us that he, for one, is a rapist.

As rhetoric or dialectic, the conclusion stands. Certain claims of rape are intrinsically suspect on the basis of their divergence from documented statistical norms.

Also, note in the comments this implied threat from the cyberstalker Yama. I am sure you will understand how it couldn’t help but cause me substantial emotional distress and placed me in fear of death and bodily injury.

Nequam | December 19, 2014 at 8:49 pm
Ugh. I’m starting to think of creepy indulgent revenge porn involving sharp blades and a garbage disposal (so there won’t be anything worth trying to sew back on)

yamamanama | December 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm
Is it wrong that I thought of Vox Day going through that ordeal and smiled?

Yes, Yama, it is wrong. And your public expression of that thought is also, in light of your 56 documented months of cyberstalking me, most likely unlawful.