In an unusual feature of a scientific report, the Heritage team said that Dr. Bearman's team "deliberately misled the press and the public" about some of its findings.So the Heritage study authors, Rector and Johnson, are accusing Dr. Bearman, the chairman of the sociology department at Columbia University and the author of the study, of lying and making stuff up to support a foregone conclusion. Funny, because it appears that is exactly what they are up to. The most interesting part is that they both use the same data for their reports.
The new findings were based on the same national survey used by earlier studies and conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. But the authors of the new study used different methods of statistical analysis from those in an earlier one that was widely publicized, making direct comparisons difficult.So how do they come up with different conclusions using he same data?
The team needs to do "a lot of work" on its paper, said David Landry, a senior research associate at the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York. He said in an interview that it was "a glaring error" to use the result of a statistical test at a 0.10 level of significance when journals generally use a lower and more rigorous level of 0.05.The Heritage Foundation's study was paid for by the CDC and, thus far, has not been published by any peer-reviewed journal. But if their research or data is bad, then they never will be. But what need do they have for that when they can just publish it themselves? What I really don't understand is that if you really care about promoting abstinence and sex-after-marriage, who is it helping to lie about the success of virginity pledges?
Mr. Landry also criticized the Heritage team's reliance on self-reports of sexually transmitted diseases among those who took the pledge, saying that group would be less likely to report them. "The underreporting problem is so severe that it makes that data highly questionable," Mr. Landry said.
Dr. Bearman said: "Our analyses showed that pledgers are less likely to get tested for S.T.D.'s, be diagnosed as having an S.T.D. and to see a doctor because they are worried about having an S.T.D. Most S.T.D. infections are asymptomatic, and therefore, people don't know that they have an S.T.D. unless they get tested. The use of self-report data for S.T.D.'s is therefore extremely problematic."
Looks like just another example of the right putting their conservative ideology before science, academic research standards or public safety.