Assessing police classifications of sexual assault reports: A meta-analysis of false reporting rates

Ferguson, Claire & Malouff, John (2016) Assessing police classifications of sexual assault reports: A meta-analysis of false reporting rates. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(5), pp. 1185-1193.

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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 revealed 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% CIs .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 percent rate found here.

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ID Code: 91459
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: sexual Assault, rape, false allegations, meta-analysis
DOI: 10.1007/s10508-015-0666-2
ISSN: 1573-2800
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Springer Science + Business Media
Deposited On: 23 Dec 2015 01:18
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 23:27

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