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Another duff survey

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Re: Another duff survey

Postby dls » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:11 am

The BBC have done it again

A survey of female MPs says that large numbers of them have received threats.
The unspoken implication is that women get it worse - but doesn't the design of the survey create the desired answer?
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:16 am

How was the survey designed? Which aspects of it do you criticise? How would you have improved it?

Have you forgotten that a woman MP was murdered last year?
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:31 am

Do you think her gender was relevant to the murder?
Take me to your lizard...
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:04 am

Possibly
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby dls » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:43 am

If they did the same survey but of all MPs with blue eyes. You would just laugh at it - because you have no pre-judgment that those with blue eyes will suffer particularly for it.

The survey is designed only to re-inforce pre-existing prejudices.

It produces a proportion - say a third.What are we to make of that proportion? Is it high or low? Without some control, it means nothing at all.

It is essentially dishonest - or at the very best cheap and manipulative.

Imagine the same survey but conducted only among Christian MPs or only among gay MPs. The disastrous logic would be the same.
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:08 pm

The BBC report of the survey, for those wishing to inform themselves: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38736729

I repeat that a woman MP was murdered. It is important that these questions, as well as the other questions asked, are asked of women MPs. "But what about the men?" is a weak way of diverting attention from the real and important point.
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:57 pm

I agree.

29% of Members of Parliament are women*. Women are also under-represented in other areas of public life. If we want to understand why, and to make changes that may be necessary to remedy the situation, then we need to understand the experiences of those women. It might be interesting to know how much abuse they get compared to male MPs but firstly it's not actually easy to undertake that comparison (I submit that few male MPs will have been on the receiving end of misogynist abuse) and secondly it's not always necessary to have a comparator at all: if a woman is choosing whether to enter public life, or a woman MP is deciding whether to leave, absolute risk is more important than relative risk. It is of no interest to that woman whether her risk of encountering abuse is higher or lower than a man, because she's not a man and cannot become one.

It's not dishonest: we know there's no comparator and we can proceed on that basis. If there's a limitation on how useful the information is, we're aware of it and we can take it into account. In any event, even if we did decide that we needed a comparator, it's not at all clear that male MPs are the appropriate group: why not compare them with all other women, or women in high-profile jobs?

*Or there were after the 2015 election, and I don't believe the proportion has changed that much.
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby dls » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:46 pm

Sorry, but I cannot agree.

I agree that it is valuable to know the experience of different groups of MPs, but what if men get it worse? The intention of the survey is to imply that this is not the case, but if we make that assumption why bother with a survey which makes no valuable contribution.

I ask again - what would say if a survey asked only christian MPs or gay MPs, or black MPs.
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Re: Another duff survey

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:55 pm

What if men get it worse? Men make up 71% of the House of Commons.

We should survey MPs in all of those groups, because knowledge of the absolute risk tells us how likely they are to face abuse, and therefore how likely they are to be excluded from public life.
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