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Saturday, June 25, 2005

How Not To Write & Publish a Scientific Paper, Second Ed.

In the 1st ed., Heather of HWL pointed us to a Heritage Foundation paper on oral and anal sex among teenagers by Rector and Johnson (real names, by the way). The main battle here is whether or not teenagers who take virginity pledges are more likely to engage in risky sexual activities.

Before getting into the real point of this post, here's my favorite part of the "abstract":

Finally, this paper finds that although virginity pledgers are less likely to use contraception at first intercourse, any differences in contraceptive use between pledgers and non-pledgers disappear very quickly.

It's probably the most important conclusion out of the whole paper, and they spend the entire time complaining about biased media coverage. On top of this, Rector and Johnson can't even forge a scientific paper correctly. They should have read this book.

Here are my main "stylistic" critiques of the paper that don't overlap with Heather's:

Scientists will rarely use a degree or title in the author list, e.g. "Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D."

And it's generally accepted that an author will go by a single name througout her/his career. On my first paper, my middle initial was left off, but that was an oversight, and I always think of it as a big deal. The first author here, Rector, seems to have let his middle initial jump in an out arbitrarily throughout his tenure at the Heritage Foundation.

Abstracts are almost always a single paragraph without line breaks. Some fields are different than others, so this one may not count.

I've never seen an Executive Summary in a scientific publication. This is what happens when self-styled policy makers try to do science.

Whatever it is, it isn't a scientific paper. I'm not sure I want to go any further. I might be inspired to do a third edition; maybe not.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We Can't All Be Hemingway

Washington Times :: For whom the wedding bell tolls

This op-ed is full of zingers, and the bastardization of the title of such a masterpiece is only the first. I'll single out the one that insults me the most:

In "close-relationship" law there's a moral equivalence between marriage and cohabitation — what society once derided as "living together." There's ample research to show that mere cohabitation to produce children creates a less stable environment for them than marriage. In close relationship law a "partner" is the equal of a "parent" and conjugal marriage morphs into the generic neutrality of "coupledom."

Here, Suzanne Fields is telling me, and millions of other Americans, that we are hurting civilization. If this society created me, and I'm destroying it, that's technically suicide. So, come again?

How Not To Write & Publish a Scientific Paper, First Ed.

Ryan here. I'll be posting a bit while Becky is recovering and traveling back to Bloomington. On with the show....

One of my favorite political blogs is Here's What's Left. From the frothing bloggers at Power Line to the "nucular" option, Michael's writing is top notch. Every now and then, his partner in crime, Heather, offers up some great analysis as well. Her recent critique of the Heritage Foundation's study on the efficacy of so-called "virginity pledges" is worth a couple complete reads:

As Expected

Yuck. I just read through the Heritage Foundation "studies" on abstinence pledges that were being discussed a couple days ago, and I'm happy to say that they met my expectations and then some. I'll comment on their STD study now and post later with a thorough shredding of their analyses of oral and anal sex patterns because they are total monkeyshit, and also I hate to pass up an opportunity to talk about dirty sex. mmmm.

I'll have more thoughts in the Second Edition of this post when I can take my graduate student hat off.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Classic ID


I may be wrong...

You're wrong. No need to go any further.

Light Blogging

Apologies to eager readers for the lack of blogging going on here. A recent knee arthroscopy has interfered with my attempts. Also, the post-surgery medications inhibit my ability to compose a coherent post.

Thanks to Ryan for guest blogging over the next few days.

Click here to see the torn cartilage on my femoral condyle.

Monday, June 20, 2005

See What I Mean?

Some people are feminists and don't even know it. They just blindly dismiss the 'label' because of its negative connotation.

What is Your Sexual Literacy?

Sexuality isn't just about what happens between the sheets. To be a healthy, well-rounded person, think about your sexuality beyond the act...

Take the Sexual Literacy Quiz here.

I scored 100%! I am a healthy well rounded person.