Maybe He Was Talking About Ducks
This post initially appeared on Science Blogs
A mini furor erupted this weekend, when republican Senate nominee Todd Akin defended his position of denying abortions even to victims of rape, because in the case of "legitimate rape," women have biological defenses that prevent pregnancy:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
The liberal blogosphere went nuts, and the story was picked up by all the national media outlets, and even Mitt Romney decided to distance himself from Akin:
In a phone interview this morning, Mitt Romney told National Review Online that Representative Todd Akin’s recent remarks on rape are “inexcusable.”
“Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”
While it certainly is offensive that any legislators think that they are in the position of defining what constitutes "legitimate" rape (and passing laws to force medically unnecessary and invasive ultrasounds, and restricting women's access to family planning, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera), I think all of these commentators are overlooking a key possibility - what if Akin was referring to duck rape?
Those that the female actually wants to mate with have an easier time. If she’s into a male, she strikes a pose that signals her receptiveness, keeping her body level and lifting her tail feathers high. She repeatedly contracts the walls of her genital tract, relaxing them for long enough for favoured suitors to achieve full penetration.
Males who try to force themselves upon her receive no such help and have to cope with vigorous struggling. The female may not be able to resist such advances, but her convoluted vagina gives her ultimate control over where the sperm of her current partner ends up. The fact that only 3% of duck offspring are born of forced matings suggests that females are indeed winning this battle of the sexes. [emphasis mine - KB]
Personally, I'm of the opinion that even if humans were like ducks, we shouldn't ignore the 3%, and in any case women should have the right to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies, regardless of whether they were raped or not, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Since only someone completely blinded by ideology, hopelessly ignorant of basic human biology and incapable of using google would believe that rape victims couldn't get pregnant, I'm going to assume that Todd Akin was referring to ducks.