I had written in "Rationality" that there was something at least partly sensible, because of the statistical probability that men will lie in defense of accusations of assault more often than women will falsely accuse, to start from a slightly uneven place in deciding for oneself who to believe. I qualified that this was about the starting point, and hedged that in the absence of solid information this was going to be about perception, but I did put that forward as a non-insane argument.
Senator Collins's speech convinces me I was wrong about that. As far as we can make our minds be objective and cast out demons of prejudice, we should do that, and hold others to the same standard. I would now say that while I understand how people come to that less-than-even starting point, it is still wrong, not only in criminal matters, not only in background checks and agency investigations, but even in the informal evaluations that all of us do about such matters.
As I thought about it, I saw that it would be analogous to a black/white situation. Because African-Americans have approximately ten times the rate of violent crime as whites, following my original logic it would be okay to initially assume the black girl was as fault if she got into a fight with a white girl. That is of course insane, and it is easy to see how damaging applying the idea would be. I didn't think it through to the ruddy end, and got it wrong.
Thank you, Senator, for clear thinking and expression.