Contesting rape statistics

The article "Smith Trial Unfolds Pain of Rape Cases," Dec. 10, reports that, according to DePaul University law professor Morrison Torrey, "various surveys" reveal 40 to 68 percent of males "would rape a woman if they knew they could get away with it."As a reader, I would like more information about those "various sources" instead of relying on second-hand hearsay. Who conducted the surveys and what groups of men were surveyed? How were the surveys made and what was the definition of "rape" used in the surveys? When I think about the men who are my friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and relatives, it seems false and degrading to be told that so many of them would rape if they could get away with it. Joe Belknap, Pacific Grove, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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