Monday, November 09, 2009

Meaningless Statistic Of The Day.

A huge rise in the number of children calling to report sexual abuse by women has been revealed by Childline.

Over the past five years, the charity says the number of such calls has risen five times faster than youngsters reporting abuse by a man.

This is a useless figure on its own and the fact that it is being used as the headline figure suggests to me that the useful figures aren't nearly as scary sounding.

Sure enough the actually useful statistics aren't that dramatic, female abusers make up about 1/8th or the caseload of Childline. However even that is misleading because as Esther Rantzen says "we specifically targeted boys, hoping to reassure them that it was not a sign of weakness to ask for help with a difficult or painful problem.". So after targetting boys the number of boys who contacted them rose.

The thing is I'm sure much of what Childline and the NSPCC say is true- that sexual abuse by females is probably underreported due to a reluctance to acknowledge that it exists- however the use of dubious shock stats makes me think that someone is attempting to mislead me.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed, I couldn't even be bothered to fisk it. But these poor chaps have to make the problem seem far worse than it is to ensure all the lovely taxpayer money keeps rolling in.

Like that campaign group for "Lesbians with AIDS", it turns out there weren't any.

Ross said...

"Lesbians with AIDS"

A more puerile individual than I might make a joke about their aids being battery operated, but I wouldn't do that.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm not making this up...

"There is very little medical documentation of woman-to-woman sexual transmission of AIDS.

But a significant number of women who identify primarily as lesbians have contracted AIDS through intravenous drug use or heterosexual sex.

Anne Harris interviewed Amber Hollibaugh, director of the Lesbian AIDS Project at the Gay Men's Health Crisis, based in New York City...

JuliaM said...

"...director of the Lesbian AIDS Project at the Gay Men's Health Crisis..."

'Teh patriarchy, it's everywhere!'

banned said...

My mate at college was an item with his former history teacher at his school where they first 'did it' when he was aged 15yrs old.
Did he feel abused ? Nope, they went on to get married and stayed thus for many years.
Were we, his fellow students' outraged ? Nope, vaguely curious, including the girls.
These days he would be a victim statistic and she would be in prison.