Saturday, November 15, 2014
The FBI is changing the way it defines rape for the first time in decades (literally - the Uniform Crime Reports began in 1929 and the rape definition has not been changed since). Under any definition, rape statistics are notoriously unreliable, since we know there is significant under-reporting in the first place. But the new definition is a move in the right direction as it expands the actions that constitute rape (to include penetration with an object) and who can be raped (under the previous definition, only women could be raped). The one downside to changing the definition is that it will make comparisons across time impossible.