Todd Akin’s legacy lives on, thanks to one of his close friends (though maybe not anymore), Georgia Republican congressman and certified gynecologist Phil Gingrey. The congressman thought it would be a good idea to defend his pal’s controversial (read: stupid) rape comments at a town hall meeting recently, with a little science lesson. Brace yourselves.
“And in Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”
“And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”
That they did.
Unfortunately Akin and pal’s pseodo science–made popular, most likely, by this 1999 essay–will persist, regargless of media and medical scrinuty. What’s most interesting, though, is the science on the other side of the political spectrum–the side that believes in evolution.
Here’s BBC Health in 2001, one year after the publication of A Natural History of Rape-–a book which sought to explain rape evolutionarily:
“Scientists have made a disturbing finding about rape which they believe may explain why the crime has been so common throughout history. They have found that a single act of rape may be more than twice as likely to make a woman pregnant than a single act of consensual sex.This suggests, they say, that in a strictly biological sense, rape is a successful way for a man to spread his genes.”
Creationism and evolution aren’t just ideological, scientific foes. They are political ones as well.