How trustworthy are all the “Scientific Studies” that occur? How can you be sure their methods are valid? This article on the Village Voice shows what happens when your methods for gathering data are shoddy. Nick Pinto describes the Schapiro Research group’s “method” to produce results that were broadcasted and used to make inferences on juvenile prostitution.
The Schapiro group’s research was taken pretty much as solid fact with NO ONE even making sure how they gained the data was correct. What they basically used was a bunch of words, which really didn’t even make much sense when you put it together:
“The study showed that any given ‘young’ looking girl who is selling sex has a 38 percent likelihood of being under age 18,” reads a crucial passage in the explanation of methodology. “Put another way, for every 100 ‘young’ looking girls selling sex, 38 are under 18 years of age. We would compute this by assigning a value of .38 to each of the 100 ‘young’ girls we encounter, then summing the values together to achieve a reliable count.”
Like Pinto says, this is gibberish. Gibberish taken as fact because no one bothered to read it through.
I’ll let the article speak for itself as it shows how much survey research, even when it’s not really legitimate, can serve as a political tool to promote a specific agenda. (I’m just glad someone asked about the integrity of the research to be honest…)
If you’re interested, this is Beth Schapiro’s response to the article: