Lately, I was reading through this thread on Sexual Harassment, and a few of the comments got me thinking about the classic debate on sexual violence. Proponents of enhanced sexual violence laws often sympathize with the perspective of the truthful victim. Opponents of enhanced sexual violence laws argue that that the offender can be wrongly accused: In reality though, a majority of sexual violence (e.g. rape) situations occur in the absence of witnesses without any incriminating evidence. An overwhelming number of cases go without being reported, and many victims delay going to the police immediately for a variety of complicated reasons (e.g. shock; most offenders are friends/acquaintances, such as in "date rape"). In the rare situation a case is brought to court, it often boils down to his testimony versus hers. The lack of witnesses or evidence results in the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. The result is automatic acquittal regardless of the truth of the matter. + + + Here are two infographics on the reported statistics of sexual violence, particularly rape: + + + We can see from the infographic that both true cases of rape and false accusations of rape exist. This observation is sort of obvious to nearly anybody. In the language of statistics, the cases can be broken down into four categories: True positives: True rapists jailed as rapists False positives: Innocents jailed as rapists False negatives: True rapists that walk free True negatives: Innocents that walk free The ratio between the four can be mathematically determined by sensitivity and specificity. Any decision-making process, including a courtroom of law, has a calculable sensitivity and specificity. A jury that is 100% sensitive at detecting rapists will always incriminate true rapists, but there might be cases of innocents who are unjustly incriminated for a crime they didn't perform. A jury that is 100% specific at detecting rapists will never incriminate an innocent person, but there may be true rapists that end up walking free. The modern justice system is generally more specific than sensitive. Additionally, for practical limitations, it is realistically impossible to have both 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity. Rather, sensitivity and specificity are often regarded as a trade off. It is possible to increase the sensitivity of a test at the expense of specificity, and vis versa. + + + The objective of this poll is to determine if people's attitudes towards an ideal sexual violence justice system lean towards sensitivity or specificity. Consider the following scenario: It is the year 2300 and the "Magical Girl of Love and Justice" has come to Earth with an incredible device called the Oracle. The Oracle is a crystal orb that magically determines if someone is guilty of the crime of rape. If someone places their hand on the orb, it will turn Green for Innocent or Red for Guilty. However, the Oracle is not 100% sensitive or 100% specific. The Magical Girl has a few different versions of the orb that have various degrees of sensitivity and specificity. The World Government is very interested in the magical device and has verified its level of accuracy on a panel of convicted criminals. In the future, the World Government would like to utilize this device whenever someone accuses another person of a case of sexual violence, particularly in situations where there is no evidence or witnesses. A Red (Guilty) Orb will be sufficient to send the accused to prison. A Green (Innocent) Orb will result in an automatic acquittal of the accused. The World Government has submitted a democratic vote to the world population to determine which orb to utilize during sexual violence accusations. Alternatively, citizens may vote to reject the utilization of magic orbs during the justice process. What is your opinion on this subject?