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Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Jul;45(5):1185-93. doi: 10.1007/s10508-015-0666-2. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Assessing Police Classifications of Sexual Assault Reports: A Meta-Analysis of False Reporting Rates.

Author information

1
School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, QLD, 4000, Australia. claire.ferguson@qut.edu.au.
2
School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

The objective of the study was to determine, through meta-analysis, the rate of confirmed false reports of sexual assault to police. The meta-analysis initially involved a search for relevant articles. The search identified seven studies where researchers or their trained helpers evaluated reported sexual assault cases to determine the rate of confirmed false reports. The meta-analysis calculated an overall rate and tested for possible moderators of effect size. The meta-analytic rate of false reports of sexual assault was .052 (95 % CI .030, .089). The rates for the individual studies were heterogeneous, suggesting the possibility of moderators of rate. However, the four possible moderators examined-year of publication, whether the data set used had information in addition to police reports, whether the study was completed in the U.S. or elsewhere, and whether inter-rater reliabilities were reported-were all not significant. The meta-analysis of seven relevant studies shows that confirmed false allegations of sexual assault made to police occur at a significant rate. The total false reporting rate, including both confirmed and equivocal cases, would be greater than the 5 % rate found here.

KEYWORDS:

False allegations; Meta-analysis; Rape; Sexual assault

PMID:
26679304
DOI:
10.1007/s10508-015-0666-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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