Problems of interpretation

Problems of interpretation November 3, 2008

I am a member of the London Borough of Brent Teenage Pregnancy Advisory Board, so I look out for articles of posible relevance.

Articles that I review will tend to be biased towards the English language.
The Internet has a natural bias towards the USA.

I receive a Reuters News service – and saw this just now:

[Teen pregnancy linked to sexy TV shows: study
03 NOV 2008 07:06 GMT

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Exposure to some forms of entertainment is a corrupting influence on children, leading teens who watch sexy programs into early pregnancies and children who play violent video games to adopt aggressive behavior, researchers said on Monday. ]

Following through I find in the way of direct quotes from the main researcher the following:

“Our findings suggest that television may play a significant role in the high rates of teenage pregnancy in the United States,” and “We’re not saying we’re establishing causation, but we are saying this is one factor that we were able to prospectively link to the teen pregnancy outcome,”

Note, as I know you will, the words ‘may’ and ‘prospectively’ and ‘United States’ in the above quotes not to mention, but I will, ‘We’re not saying we’re establishing causation…’


Given the big news story around in the next couple of days – fingers crossed for having the 1st President with a vowel (aeiou) at the end of their surname {shouldn’t say that sort of thing here, should I? } – maybe this won’t get much coverage today in the UK or the USA. I am fairly certain though that it will get a mention, if not a whole program sometime soon on daytime TV, and the unqualified claim will be:

Sexy TV shows responsible for teen pregnancies.

What to do? What to do?

Was it ever thus?



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