Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How to Slant a Study


A recent study has challenged the idea that certain abstinence programs are effective. A close look at the way they did this shows how the left is rigging studies- or the way the results of the studies are presented to the public, to promote their agenda. The result of these machinations is partly the advance of their agenda, and partly the loss of confidence in science itself (which surprisingly enough also seems to be a part of their agenda).

To see why this is so, we need some important background for context: The classical mindset believed in a single law-giver God. This type of mind invented science (because they believed they could count on the rules being the same in different locations and times, it made sense to test for cause and effect). Pagans who thought a posse of gods made conflicting "rules" that applied only in the places or seasons that deity was strong did not have the type of mindset that could produce modern science.

Unfortunately, the predictive power of such science made Western man arrogant much like the person who "forgets where they came from". The Modern mind put all its faith in the tools of science that the classical mind devised. They separated the process of science from the classical view of the world that created the process. The Modern Mind is strictly naturalistic, no hint of Divine Intervention can be allowed, even if the evidence is clear that no natural process can explain an event.

While the Modern mind has some short comings, it is the picture of sweet reason compared to what a naturalistic view produced- the Postmodern mind. The post modern mind does not believe in anything in the traditional sense. The modern mind trusted the human brain and senses (and no divine guidance) to be a reliable guide to the truth. The post modern mind realizes that if we are all just the chance products of evolution, then there is no truth for our brains to discover. Even if there was, there is no reason to believe that our perceptions and brains are capable of understanding it. We just each see the world in our own way, have our own "truth". This "truth" is ultimately decided by how we "feel", not what the alleged "facts" are.

The postmodern mind does not believe in science, but they use the label as a propaganda tool. This includes using claims of "science" as ammunition to advance their feelings-driven agenda.

I am way long here, and I am going to bring this around to the study by Janet Rosenbaum claiming that pledges for abstinence don't help (and further used to attack abstinence programs in general).

(continued on the jump, click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down for rest of story).

6 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

An old Pentecostal preacher once told me that "feelings make a good caboose, but a bad engine". Postmodernists make the feelings the engine. Some of the strongest good feelings humans can have revolve around sex. The classical mind, including the Judeo-Christian traditions, have always warned that such feelings must be subordinated to more reasonable contexts. That is, there must be commitment and not just contact.

Postmodernists reject all that. And they rule academia these days. So abstinence programs have always been attacked. Still, there were several major studies which showed that the programs reduced the amount of unwed teen sex with all its attendant social problems.

Rosenbaum did not bother to run a new study to come to the exact opposite conclusion. She used the same study results, but decided to score it a different way.

What the previous study did was take kids that did NOT participate in a certain abstinence program (where they pledged to stay a virgin until marriage) and compare the age they had sex and the number of partners they had sex with to young people who HAD participated in the program. The finding of that research was that young people who made the pledge had sex later, and had fewer partners than those who had not.

Pretty clear cut, right? Yes, but it did not give the jaded debauches of the faded sexual revolution the answer that they wanted. Rosenbaum mined the data until she could show that the program had no effect.

How did she do this? Easy. There are many factors which determine whether or not someone will be chaste or loose in their sexuality. What Rosenbaum did is take subgroups from those who did not take the pledge (and effectively from both groups). What she did was take the "cream of the crop". That is, she took the subset who attended church regularly, had two parents in the home, already had negative attitudes toward pre-marital sex ect....

Among that advantaged subset, there was no difference between those who took the pledge and those who did not.

Contrary to Rosenbaum's assertions, that doesn't mean that the Pledge program is ineffective, maybe it just means that there is a point of diminishing returns for the program, just as there is for almost everything else. There is a group of "good kids" that don't need it. They will tend to be "good kids" whether they take the pledge or not. At least until they get to college and their humanist professors undermine their faith so that they yield to the lure of sleeping around (as it seems that even the majority of the "good kids" from both groups wound up doing to some degree).

It is analogous to claiming that a tutoring program is ineffective because the "A" students who did not take the program scored just as high as the "A" students who did take it. All that says is that if you are a good enough student on your own, you don't get helped by tutoring, not that tutoring is ineffective for all.

Since overall (between pledge takers and non-takers) there WAS a substantial difference in behavior yet NO DIFFERENCE in behavior among the most advantaged sub-groups, it leads me to believe that there would be an even larger advantage for "borderline" young people in both sets. That is the study that ought to be done.

As for the fact that most pledge-takers did not keep there pledge, that is not a necessarily a failure of the program, but a failure of our sex-obsessed culture that is weak on commitment and constantly uses sex just to get attention. It is not reasonable to expect a limited program to have that much difference given the culture it is operating in.

Penicillin is still an effective anti-biotic, but you can't take just one dose at 16 and expect to stay healthy for years on it. Even our churches are afraid to preach the truth about chastity and abstaining these days, meanwhile, the media keeps shoving it in our face to get our attention the easy way rather than giving us something of value to watch (because that is too hard
relative to their talent).

At any rate, even Rosenbaum's study showed that the pledges had 11% fewer partners than the cream-of-the-crop non-pledges. This result is dismissed as insignificant, but when the pledger's use of condoms was found to be 10% less than the non-pledger's then that was trumpeted as significant.

Meanwhile, even as our nation crumbles due to our immorality, the radical left pushes us to toss out whatever little restraint we have left.

And that is the way I see it.

8:42 PM, December 31, 2008  
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