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Pathways to False Allegations of Sexual Assault

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Dated: March - April 2012 Pages: 97-123
Jessica Engle, B.A.; William O'Donohue, Ph.D.
Date Published
April 2012
27 pages
This study examined false statements of sexual assault.
Not all allegations of sexual assault are true. Unfortunately, there has been little work on understanding the prevalence of false allegations or pathways to these. This paper proposes 11 pathways to false allegations of sexual assault: (a) lying, (b) implied consent, (c) false memories, (d) intoxication, (e) antisocial personality disorder, (f) borderline personality disorder, (g) histrionic personality disorder, (h) delirium, (i) psychotic disorders, (j) dissociation, and (k) intellectual disability. These pathways originate in the psychological diatheses of the individual. Further research is needed into the frequency of these pathways, ways to accurately detect these, and whether other pathways exist. (Published Abstract)