Do women lie about rape

Yes is the simple answer.

The harder answer is why, and how do you tell.

As I always say, the first question to consider is motive.  If you have a motive, a lot must follow to corroborate the motive.  Here is an article from the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin about, False Allegations of Adult Crimes.

Perpetrators of false allegation crimes have various underlying motivations that fall into one or more categories. Investigators may encounter cases involving more than one motivation.

  • Mental illness/depression
  • Attention/sympathy
  • Financial/profit
  • Alibi
  • Revenge

I would place the lie to the husband/boyfriend/fiancée in the “alibi” column, when they have to explain why they were out late, or partying, or  . . . 

Law enforcement officers may find false allegation crimes complex and difficult to unravel. Further, investigators working closely with offenders may become so emotionally invested in the case that they have a hard time believing that the individual could be deceptive.

Especially if this is a military case and you have been told you must believe the “victim.”  Standard note: and all of the issues associated with confirmation bias.

J. McNamara, S. McDonald, and J. Lawrence, “Characteristics of False Allegation Adult Crimes,”Journal of Forensic Science 57, no. 3 (May 2012): 643-646.

The purpose of this study was to identify common factors in false allegation adult crimes, by examining the dynamics involved in 30 confirmed false allegation cases. The authors conducted a comprehensive review of these adjudicated cases and then completed a collection instrument to capture offender demographics, offense characteristics, and motive. The results indicated that most false allegation crimes were committed by women (73.3%) and Caucasians (93.3%). Data indicated that more interpersonally violent allegations were primarily motivated by attention/sympathy needs (50.0%), whereas more impersonal offenses involved other motivations such as providing an alibi (16.7%) or profit (13.3%). Offenders tended to be younger, high school graduates with no higher education (43.3%). A total of 23.3% of offenders had a prior criminal history. Male offenders appeared as likely as women to be motivated by attention/sympathy; however, men tended to select more violent, nonsexual offenses (e.g., attempted murder) than women.