MotherTalkers

Where real moms tell it like it is.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Grrrreat Piece Debunking Women Trends!

This article in today's SF Chronicle was like manna from heaven. It discusses the trend of media outlets publishing controversial pieces that identify women trends. Now I understand why so many of these stories stimulate my bullshit detector.

Do these ring a bell? Droves of professional women "opting out" to be stay-at-home moms! Highly educated, high earning women can't find mates! Women bad at math! The list goes on and on.

Too often, these stories are built upon single, small-sample studies; over-reaching conclusions; and anecdotes from the writers' social circle. The trends these stories purport to spot are often at odds with large scale statistics gleaned from census data. Taken as a whole, the stories seem to serve as a warning to women: don't fly to high to the sun, don't want too much, don't get too educated, don't make too much money.

This is not to say that every trend story is inherently faulty or that all trend stories are being written about women...
But women are more vulnerable to bad reporting. As Julie Hollar, the communications director of media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, says in a phone interview, "Women's lifestyle choices are subjected to greater scrutiny. In fact, the only other group that I can think of that get so many trend stories are youth."


GOOD STUFF. Read it and be disabused of a lot of myths being propagated about women and their choices.

1 Comments:

At Wednesday, January 04, 2006 7:45:00 PM, Blogger Elisa said...

Yes, I LOVED this piece. I even wrote a big "THANK YOU" to the writer. I, too, get riled up over the "opt out revolution" and other women trend stories and even question my own decisions when I come across them. Unfortunately, the writers of these stories -- such as those in the NY Times -- are good writers and they can present flimsy evidence in a logical and entertaining way. Now I know to scrutinize the data more closely.

Hey, and why aren't there more men trend stories -- "daddy wars"???

 

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