I always jump on such "statistics" or "polls." Partially, its because I
studied proper scientific method and statistical analysis as part of my
psychology and biology minors. Often, I become suspicious just reading
these "reports." The obvious telling sign is when they don't specifically
state what the question was, but rather they just give their conclusions.
In this case, Peter Saunders is a research manager from the Australian
Institute of Family Studies. "We've been involved in research where a whole
range of people have taken jobs that pay less to be able to spend more time
with family and the people they're close to," he said.
Also, the annual survey is part of the national SmartSex Week, is part of a
campaign raising awareness about safe sex practices, and is sponsored by
Australia's leading condom manufacturer. This already tends to put the
questions in a sexual context, and was probably asked of sexually active
Such "polls" have to be unbiased and not associated with a certain group or
subject. Just by appearing in "SmartSex Week," I think people interpreted
all the questions as relating to their sexual lives, even if they weren't
intended that way. So questions about romance vs. money were probably
interpreted as, "do you have sex for romance or for money?" Questions about
romance vs. sports were probably interpreted as, "do you lay someone because
you like them, or is it a sporting game you play?"
I wish the actual questions were shown in these "reports" instead of just
conclusions. Without the questions, I almost feel like I am being told,
"Trust me that people believe this way, but I won't show you the evidence."
----- Original Message -----
From: "m" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 7:45 am
Subject: Re: An interesting article about the aussie people
> --- John M Grigg <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > I enjoyed this article about Australia. Becky, the
> > beautiful aussie girl I grew close to on the net was as I
> > remember pretty mercenary in talking to me about the
> > money part when it came to a prospective mate.
> Interesting article, but I wonder what the sample size was!
> I get a bit suspicious of these surveys when basic
> information such as this isn't given. Sydney/NSW scored
> highest in the "materialism" stakes, which is no surpise I
> guess. The Olympic profit bandwagon is rolling well and
> I've also just finished watching the first episode of
> Robert Hughes' TV documentary "Beyond The Fatal Shore", on
> contemporary Australia. As usual R.H. is eloquent and
> interesting, watch it if you get a chance. Again you must
> always guard against too much generalisation, though.
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Kick off your party with Yahoo! Invites.
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