Thus Spake Zuska

Another Take on Stupid Study

Remember that fascinating study that almost certainly applied to females? Jake at Pure Pedantry has a very interesting analysis to offer on it.

I do like the way he deconstructs the statistics and delineates the difference between statistically significant and practically significant. However, he missed the boat on the gender issue. He, too, talks about eldest children, as if all children were male. This is very annoying.

I would really like it if people would be clear about when they are talking about research that was done only on men and research results that apply only to men. You know, if the same study were done on 240,000 adult women, nobody would be talking about “eldest children”, I am willing to bet. Because, of course “women” does not equal “human” the way we seem to think “men” does. We don’t tend to generalize from women to men, but we are perfectly happy to generalize from men to women.

Other than that, Jake’s post is great. I agree with everything else he says, and he really did a fine job on the analysis. Do give it a read.