Friday, August 26, 2005

A molehill

I don’t want to make too much out of this, but does anyone else find the subtle but distinct difference in presentation between these two BBC stories a little, I don’t know, interesting?
Male drivers more likely to crash

Young men driving in Hull are more than twice as likely to crash as women of the same age, research has shown.

'Men cleverer than women' claim

Academics in the UK claim their research shows that men are more intelligent than women.

Why is that, in the former, the research has shown something (which is a pretty standard BBC formulation), but in the latter, academics merely claim the research shows something? Couldn’t have something to do with what the research purported to show, could it?

Nah. Surely no significance at all.


Blogger ed thomas said...

I suppose to be fair to the Beeb the headline in the driving report must have a very strong and easily recognisable statistical basis ie. the numbers of young men involved in accidents versus the numbers of young women- however these statistics are gathered. However, I think you're right about the headline because the survey focusses mainly on 'young men'- not men in general. The fact may be that men- taken en masse- are involved in more accidents, but that wasn't the focus of the survey, hence the news report was mistitled.

This is a broadbrush title which is inappropriate to the study's remit.

That the Police word their conclusions so strongly suggests to me that this is intended for propagandist purposes rather than as clean research. The police, after all, have to deal with the pile ups. Men often have considered themselves automatically superior- I'll bet the police have read research saying that this superiority complex is a factor in the numbers of accidents on the roads.

There's another observation I like to mention in this context though, which is that many women have small accidents because they drive relatively slowly. These are often not reported to the police, either because too minor or because some male driver- or sympathetic female- who is affected by their error lets them off.

Of course it's interesting that young males drivers perform so badly in this study- but then in our current education system many of them are unchallenged and immature in every respect. So many young men, for instance, don't get practical challenges for their reflexes because they don't have proper outdoor activities to develop them. I know this is a wider point, but relevant to the general topic. Concidentally, Hull is one of the most deprived areas in the UK- I've known young men from there who were significantly more introverted and less confident than from other wealthier parts of the UK.

As for the IQ reseach- that's quite right, obviously. Where's the need to 'claim' anything?

11:05 AM  

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