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In the Nashville Scene: Bad Biology (on Akin, Rape, Pregnancy, and the Political Purpose of Those Myths)

September 6, 2012

Last week, I was asked to write a piece for the Nashville Scene (our local “alt-weekly”), stemming from Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” and rape-related pregnancy.

The article – Bad Biology: Why the debate over ‘legitimate rape’ has potential to do lasting harm – appears in this week’s print and online issue, and highlights two political purposes served by perpetuating the “rape never/rarely results in pregnancy myth,” chiefly that it allows politicians and voters not to feel too bad about extreme anti-abortion legislation, and it perpetuates long-standing ideas about degrees of rape and women’s believability.

It was quite fun to work on, and I was happy to be asked. Despite constant blogging and contributing writing to journal articles, systematic reviews, and librarian and women’s health newsletters, I’ve never written anything for “the paper” before, so this was a new and cool experience for me. Scene editor Jim Ridley was great to work with, and has a real gift for making people feel at ease so they can focus on doing what needs to be done.


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