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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Todd Akin's Science, Explained

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Or maybe he just believes in the vagina dentata. - NARCISSE-SHRAPNEL
  • Narcisse-Shrapnel
  • Or maybe he just believes in the vagina dentata.

News of Todd Akin's idiocy has spread worldwide, which is kind of good because it means there's a larger pool of people who can inform us where his scientific opinions about rape and conception came from.

The Guardian of London went deep into the law books and dug up this gem of jurisprudence:

If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman's consent she could not conceive.

When we say they went deep, we mean it: This comes from Fleta, one of the earliest British legal texts, composed in 1290. It's just as we suspected: Todd Akin is totally medieval!

The author of Fleta, like Akin, based his (we're just going to take a wild guess at this person's gender here) thinking on scientific principles.

Back in the Middle Ages, cutting-edge scientific philosophers reasoned that the female sex organs, which they couldn't see, were just inverted versions of the male ones. Since men need to orgasm to spread their seed, the thinking went, shouldn't the same be true for women? And since women who were being raped weren't likely to experience orgasm -- ergo, it was impossible to get pregnant from a rape!

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