Razib Khan in the New York Times

2015 will be the Year of Publishing, and the Year of Blogging, I declare.

Unz writer and PhD student Razib Khan has an editorial in the New York Times. It boils down to this: women have the most extreme views on abortion on either side of the political spectrum and so the War on Women is the War Between Women. Whatever.

A few thoughts:

1.) The entire premise is based on a single yes or no question in the General Social Survey. At least it talks about data over the course of 23 years.

2.) The link to the data just goes to the GSS website. This is bad form, but it could be either laziness or a way to hide your tendentious math. GSS doesn’t let you link directly to specific data, but that’s what blog posts are for.

My feeling is still that its the latter, but as I don’t want to dig up the data for myself, we will let Mr. Khan off with a warning.

3.) This paragraph seems to directly muddy the point he’s trying to make:

Our liking for black-and-white versions of reality is belied by their more shaded truths. Even among “extremely liberal” women in the General Social Survey, over 25 percent did not accept an unequivocal abortion-rights position. Meanwhile, among “extremely conservative” women, nearly one-fifth (18.2 percent) did.

So women have extreme views on abortion and there’s significant overlap? Also, why say “over 25 percent” and then “nearly one-fifth.” This seems like a weasely way to fudge the numbers in the direction of your bias, although for what purpose, I can’t really tell.

In the end, the article seems slimy enough to write a short blog post, but not important or outrageous enough to really get into.

Happy New Year!


About deconstructionapplied

Writer, freelance editor. Former Occupier.
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