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QUOTE RESEARCH FIGURES WITH CARE

SHARE QUOTE RESEARCH FIGURES WITH CARE

I am most amazed by research figures quoted, by the press and friends and acquaintances, as being the gospel truth. I returned to school in my 50s, and in undergraduate school and again in graduate school, I was required to take classes on statistics and research. The one thing I learned and still remember at 71 is that the outcome can be easily skewed.

In a recent Deseret News, there was a review of a book written by Christina Hoff Sommers titled "Who Stole Feminism?" She attempts to point out different groups that do research, in order to help the public understand the hidden agendas of such groups.An Associated Press article in the Arizona Republic dated April 17 has a headline that says AIDS Message Targets Group With Least Risk." The message was that AIDS is not a threat to all middle class people. The article quoted some statistics: in 1990, 16 of every 10,000 women who gave birth were infected. Two years later, this is virtually unchanged, at 17 in 10,000. These are not the kind of statistics that appear in letters to the editor or in other parts of newspapers. The rates that are quoted are much higher.

If we are going to have a vote and be involved in our country's well-being, we need to understand the statistics and research findings that are so prevalent in our reading materials.

Carolyn M. Wallace

Kaysville