Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Rubbish that The Washington Post Will Print When it Promotes Oral Sodomy In Our Nation's Youth

Yesterday afternoon I heard on NPR about a new study suggesting that teenagers don't engage in oral sex to avoid losing virginity. "Hmmm," I thought, "sounds like something I should check into." Well, anyway, after forgetting about it for a while, I recollected to look into it, and it appeared the ruckus leads back to yesterday's Washington Post story, A Debunking on Teenagers and 'Technical Virginity', whose lead is that "Contrary to widespread belief, teenagers do not appear to commonly engage in oral sex as a way to preserve their virginity, according to the first study to examine the question nationally."

Reading into the story, one becomes confused, because at first the story quotes an author of the study (Rachel Jones of the Guttmacher Institute) as saying that "Most teens don't have oral sex until they have had vaginal sex." An extraordinary and surprising claim, I'd say, and quite contrary to my belief that oral sodomy (I refuse to consider oral "sex" sex) is an addiction that screws up sexual desires. But then later one reads, "Jones noted that the analysis could not determine which sexual activity [oral or vaginal sex] tended to occur first." So what is it? No evidence mentioned in the story corroborates the former claim. Perhaps the latter remarks only apply to sexual activity initiated more than three years earlier? Conveniently, the article links to the "full report" of Non-coital sexual activities among adolescents, so one may check for oneself.

Going to the latter link, one finds the paper is full of arrant impossible nonsense. For example, “The overwhelming majority of non-virgin teens, 87%, had ever had oral sex, compared to 23% of virgins.” But then later, “Relative to adolescents who had not had vaginal sex, those who had sex within zero to six months of the survey were 9 times more likely to have had oral sex, and this effect was incremental. Adolescents who had had vaginal sex more than three years prior to the interview were 33 times more likely than those who had not had vaginal sex to have had oral sex.” And the words “adolescent” and “teen” appear to be used interchangeably. So simple math indicates that some people have had oral "sex" 9 x 23% = 207% of the time while others had had it 33 x 23% = 759% of the time. I don’t need my graduate degree in math to see that when probabilities are greater than one something is wrong. The most disturbing thing is that the Washington Post would print an article about such a ridiculous non-sensical paper and that other news organizations would pick it up. I can’t believe anyone with above average intelligence at the Washington Post bothered to read the paper and think at all critically about it, or How could they have judged its conclusions newsworthy? It is hard to say exactly what mistake the study paper makes that causes it to refute basic axioms of probability theory; my guess is that the study authors are confused about the meaning of "times", which refers to multiplication and not addition. Or maybe they were confused about the difference between addition and multiplication. Needless to say it is more important to first understand the basics of math such as the differences between multiplication and addition, and that "times" means "multiplied by", and that percent means "per 100", than to venture into "multivariate logistic regression". And it is totally irresponsible to give the impression one is competent enough to understand the latter when one doesn't understand (I'm guessing) basic arithmetical concepts.

What is really wicked about the Post's decision to print an article dignifying a research paper of absolute rubbish (before it was even published) is that The Post encourages the falsehood that sodomy is not something that addictively can screw-up sexual behavior. What a cheap heinous way to sell newspapers, to publicize bogus studies couched in the language of statistical analysis written by people who give the impression they don't know enough math to understand the difference between addition and multiplication, just to be able to have extraordinary headlines that appeal to people's most insidious addictions! Like an aggrieved camelid, I spit at The Washington Post. And I spit at most of the rest of the MSM for blindly picking up the story without using any thought to evaluate it.

Kudos to The New York Times for ignoring the story. They ran a story a few weeks ago, Students of Virginity, dealing with similar issues which was actually insightful and sensical.

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