False rape allegations

Arch Sex Behav. 1994 Feb;23(1):81-92. doi: 10.1007/BF01541619.


With the cooperation of the police agency of a small metropolitan community, 45 consecutive, disposed, false rape allegations covering a 9 year period were studied. These false rape allegations constitute 41% the total forcible rape cases (n = 109) reported during this period. These false allegations appear to serve three major functions for the complainants: providing an alibi, seeking revenge, and obtaining sympathy and attention. False rape allegations are not the consequence of a gender-linked aberration, as frequently claimed, but reflect impulsive and desperate efforts to cope with personal and social stress situations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Deception*
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Support