Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Choosing Your Study "Results"

Little surprise here, as yet another study proclaims an “epidemic” of domestic violence. There are so many people feeding at that trough now that one can hardly expect all of these “experts” to find anything but increasing domestic violence. Why, that would be as unimaginable as, say, Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment raising doubts about whether anything they do matters, much less whether global warming actually exists.

Bias is shown in the choice of what to study. It’s politically correct to study violence in heterosexual coupling and, of course, to find it in epidemic proportions. Against women, that is, and perpetrated by men.

It’s sort of like the old question; does a tree that falls in the woods make a sound when there is nobody there to hear it? Does an epidemic exist when there is nobody there to study it? For that matter, does an epidemic exist if there is nobody around to receive money to study it?

What is an epidemic anyway? Does this “epidemic” mean that domestic violence is worse now than it used to be? And, if so, what changed? The general feminization of culture and society, and reconstruction of the American family that has clearly occurred, has actually made “patriarchal control and oppression” worse? Does that mean women were actually better off in the 1950's?

Well, enough of asking the questions of a sentient being. (And, Jonah Goldberg, you should stop exercising such critical judgment as well!) There is nobody there to answer these questions; at least no “experts” that would risk funding and acceptance among the cultural Gestapo. Really, the choice of what is studied is not even interesting any more. It’s all too predictable.

What is interesting about this study, however, is how it was conducted. The "problem" with so many studies about domestic violence in the past is that they have too often surveyed and asked the same questions of both women and men. The usual pronouncement after all of these studies has been the headline grabbing report of out-of-control “violence against women.” That’s the one that attracts the attention and the dollars.

(The trick to finding high incidence, by the way, is to mix everyday emotional stresses that any two people living in close quarters would experience with actual physical violence and report on the combination as domestic violence. Practically all of these studies are very careful not to draw a distinction between actual physical abuse and emotional discord. And, you can get an extra nudge towards making females the majority of victims simply by avoiding the scientific approach to correcting for response bias - in other words, structure your questions according to the responses desired and, for God's sake, don't let it slip that men are less likely to admit being victims than women. You can find a bunch of well known statistical biases here that most of the DV surveyers seem to go out of there way to incorporate. You know, science and statistics are all part of the patriachal conspiracy, and so on.)

But, anyone that cared to look deeper would find that these same studies found similar rates of violence against men, perpetrated by female domestic partners. Not only that, some of the worse perpetrators are lesbians. Men’s and father’s rights groups, concerned about the institutionalized abuse of the basic civil rights of their constituents as well as the general anti-father attitude of our society, did just that. They just can't seem to keep their mouths shut about it and continue to point out the rather obvious fact that the topic was hijacked by feminists with a gender-political axe to grind. And, that's a problem for the DV establishment.

The ideologically inspired "experts" found a solution to this inconvenience, however. They simply leave men out of the survey.
Among a random sample of 3,429 adult female members of Group Health ....
That way, you find violence (remember, everything ranging from physical abuse to disagreement over what to have for dinner equals violence) and you only find it perpetrated against the people surveyed: women. The victims.

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