On what do you make your assumption that the allegations were untrue? False accusations are only about 2–8% and are made by certain kinds of women under certain types of circumstances. Dr. Ford did not fit the pattern. In fact, she was quite a text book case of how an actual attempted victim might have behaved and most of the committee, including the Republicans, said they found her credible. They then had to concoct reasons to go forward for political reasons anyway, such as maybe something happened to her but it wasn’t him.

Meanwhile, the neuroscience of trauma would have her remembering him and the incident indelibly while being much more foggy around related details. It’s certainly possible that it was untrue, but it’s highly likely, given his background, the way he behaved all through high school and college, that this was just as she described it. And they should have investigated further. Even if there wasn’t enough evidence to send him to jail, that level of stink around him should have had them selecting another candidate.

And Kavanaugh behaved like a text-book liar.

Not answering “yes” or “no”: an innocent person will usually answer questions with a direct yes or no. Not so for criminals, says Dittrich. When asked “are you involved in this murder?” they are likely to give a long answer like “I swear on my mother’s grave and all my children I didn’t.” This is a way of stalling: even though they tell themselves to lie, they can’t quite follow through. This is exactly the kind of thing that Kavanaugh did. Dr. Ford answered plainly and directly.

And former Justice John Paul Stevens is hardly a Marxist. He was a conservative leaning Justice who was nominated by a Republican. To dismiss his judgement around this is to do so blindly, for your own purposes.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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