Baughman, Benjamin (2016) A Study of Rape Investigation Files Involving Female Survivors: A Comparison of Allegations Deemed False and Genuine. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Determining the veracity of a rape allegation in the absence of incontrovertible evidence is highly problematic and complicated by vagaries of surrounding issues. The purpose of the present study was to utilise a unique, multi-faceted approach with a representative US complete dataset (n=351) to identify the most prominent, distinguishing characteristics between genuine and false allegations.
There are reasons to suggest that false allegations will be distinguishable from genuine rapes. The reasons include psychological dynamics such as a false allegers’ (not a survivor of rape) reliance on rape myths for their fictitious account. In contrast, genuine reports of rape tend to encompass more specific behavioural details. 17% of the present population were objectively determined to be fabricated.
Published results have indicated genuine rapes having a higher quantity and quality of reported actions. Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) was used to identify and categorise co-occurring behaviours, finding thematic consistency in genuine rapes. In contrast, false allegations revealed an erratic structure indicative of the fabricated stories’ reliance on rape myths. Thematic structures are consistent with published findings which lends support to the grouping procedure utilised for this thesis. Additionally, a mean number of 6.6 behaviours in false allegations compared to the 9.3 behaviours controlled by the offender in genuine cases were observed.
Partial Order Scalogram Analysis with base coordinates (POSAC) allows for using a combination of the most reliably distinguishing characteristics across cases. A developed model provided a unique method of exploring the qualitative and quantitative variations across cases. The eight most distinguishing behaviours were used to calculate a Behavioural Profile Score (BPS) for each incident and supported published results. As another potential means of assessing plausibility, analysis showed that genuine reports of rape contained greater detail as measured by the number of specific behaviours described.
Although this thesis has various limitations, the results of three very distinctly different procedures all indicate distinguishable characteristics between genuine and false allegations. Additionally, it demonstrates the significance of myths in shaping actions and provides indications to why so many cases are indeterminate.

PhDFinalEdition12Jan2016.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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