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#366434 - 07/23/11 06:01 AM Virginia schools intolerant?
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
Here's the problem with surveys like this - they are completely voluntary and the only people who will respond are those who may have been bullied. The people who haven't been bullied, don't respond. Thus, your results are skewed NO MATTER WHAT because we don't know how many people didn't respond because they weren't bullied.

234 responded and 85% heard homophobic remarks. VA's population according to census is around 8,000,000 and about 23% is under 18 and about 7% is under 5. There is no breakdown of specific high schoolers but lets say around 7%. That makes 560,000 kids in high school. If you want to be more conservative with the number of kids in high school, be my guest.

Lets say 400,000. So, out of 400,000 kids in high school, 234 responded 85% heard homophobic remarks (which is completely undefined we're left to figure out what that means) and 85% of 234 is actually 199.

So out of around a half a million kids, a self serving study that serves GLSEN's interest, its reason for existence, shows that approximately 0.05% of students have been exposed to homophobic remarks and this is supposed to be newsworthy and generalized across the entire student population?

If you want to stand by this as the original poster did, that this was indicative of intolerance, be my guest. I would argue the complete and total opposite. This is indicative of extreme tolerance and any homophobia is absolutely outside the norm if such a small percentage of the population is experiencing this.

GLSEN's reason for pushing this is its reason for being an organization. It needs to generate stories to validate itself.

This isn't news, it never was, the poll is completely flawed and it is showing exactly the opposite of what it proposes. But throw out a poll citing homosexual intolerance and people will do anything, anything to justify the polls results.

Its not that bad. Its bad for some individuals but for the absolute majority, its not bad at all. Polls are bad when they are done like this by anyone simply to generate news. If GLSEN had a poll that didn't turn out with these results, it would never publish the results because it would be signalling the death knell of itself and its purpose.

I find organizations like GLSEN specious. I think GLSEN takes individual experiences and extrapolates them out into being the norm and its just not so. This is an example of a poll being used for a press release and THAT'S IT.

A post>


Edited by EdfromNYC (07/23/11 07:34 AM)
Edit Reason: cleaning up
_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

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#366437 - 07/23/11 09:34 AM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: EdfromNYC]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
"Tolerance is the absolute norm; intolerance is a rarity, especially extreme intolerance and abuse."

"The absolute majority of young men and women who identify as gay when they are teenagers (always subject to change later in life) are not subject to hostility as the findings of this poll suggest."

With these broad statements one could also say that the majority of people are not murdered. They are not robbed by another. They are not kidnapped perhaps to be never found. They are not tortured. They are not raped. They are not molested. That is what the stats would show concerning crime. But does that mean the minority is really that small a part of the general population?

As someone who has worked with teens for many years, of all sexual orientations, I very much disagree with you on these statements. I do not believe that bullying is a rare occurrence for teens in general. And certainly not within the subset of gays and lesbians.

I have great respect for the GLSEN or any organization that has worked to educate as well as combat the agendas of other organizations and individuals.


Daryl

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Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#366441 - 07/23/11 10:46 AM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: prisonerID]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
Absolutely it does mean the minority is really that small a part of the general population. Facts are facts, the numbers are real.

Murder is bad, bullying is bad. Does it happen? Yes. Is it a real issue? Yes. Is this poll ridiculous? Yes.

My statements probably pan out in reality and reflect the findings of the poll. Relate back to the poll which is the topic here.

Generally groups like GLSEN and other organizations that have an interest in finding an outcome favorable to their own cause (I would say the same about many Christian organizations or Republican organizations) through polling, I find they can be loose with information seeking only to generate headlines and not disseminate facts. GLSEN has a great agenda, to help kids, but stuff like this makes me lose respect.

I don't feel that you're contributing by pulling statements out and ignoring my analysis of the poll. I understand you seem emotional about this but I'm not writing about your life - I'm writing about a poll and I feel as though I'm arguing science and you're not.

You're ignoring so much in the context of this forum.

Added: Considering that we are male survivors of sexual abuse and our voices are seldom heard in society at large, I do have an understanding of where you are relating from regarding bullied kids. I can be analytical to a fault and disregard some of the emotions that can be elicited by my writing. I do understand the need for kids in need to have voices and to have help for what they are going through. I understand victimization and my point is not to diminish any victim's voice or experience.



Edited by EdfromNYC (07/23/11 10:57 AM)
Edit Reason: reflected on post
_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

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#366442 - 07/23/11 11:00 AM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: EdfromNYC]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
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Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
I am not at all emotional about any of this actually and resent your stating so. The topic may have started as the poll but you are the one who made the general statements outside said poll. Topics can grow from one point being made. Your statements were placed here in the open so therefore can be commented on I would think.

You said them - I merely commented on them.

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Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#366443 - 07/23/11 11:13 AM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: prisonerID]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
To be resentful is to be emotional. I can't discuss with someone who can't be honest with himself.

My statements were based on the findings of the poll. Again, its you commenting on me not on my analysis of the poll. I won't engage with you unless you want to write about the poll and/or my analysis of the poll not statements taken out of context. Context is very important.

_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

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#366447 - 07/23/11 01:27 PM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: EdfromNYC]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 728
Loc: United States
Hey Ed,

Originally Posted By: EdfromNYC
Here's the problem with surveys like this - they are completely voluntary and the only people who will respond are those who may have been bullied. The people who haven't been bullied, don't respond. Thus, your results are skewed NO MATTER WHAT because we don't know how many people didn't respond because they weren't bullied.

Your concern is about a self-selected sample that skews the data because the sample respondents don't truly represent the *entire* population of the target group in Virginia (in this case). You care about the potential for a "random sampling error".

The Margin or Error number that I quoted from the study is the number that tracks and measures how closely the respondent sample tracks to the target population as a whole. In short, it expresses what the maximum error might be in the results because in statistics no sample (short of 100%) is perfectly representative. This is standard practice. From the Wikipedia article I linked to to explain why talking about MoE makes sense answering your concern:

Quote:
The margin of error is a statistic expressing the amount of random sampling error in a survey's results. The larger the margin of error, the less faith one should have that the poll's reported results are close to the "true" figures; that is, the figures for the whole population. Margin of error occurs whenever a population is incompletely sampled.

The study reported the Margin of Error which quantifies exactly how much impact your specific concern has on the study results and I shared "maximum +/- error" scenarios based on their numbers with you:

Quote:
This means that assuming the maximum margin of error in both directions the 85 percent of gay students who regularly heard homophobic remarks could be as low as 78% or as high as 92%, that the 37 percent who were physically harassed due to their sexual orientation could be as low as 30% and as high as 44%, and that the 21 percent who were physically assaulted could be as low as 14% or as high as 28%. It's most probable that the true number is very close to the actual number reported.

Your primary statistical concern has already been measured and quantified and I've show the maximum impact it can have on the reported results, even though in reality the probability is high that the real number is very close, to one side or the other, to the reported number. The assertion that "the only people who will respond are those who may have been bullied. The people who haven't been bullied, don't respond" is false.

Firstly, GLSEN recruited broadly within LGBT youth communities to achieve a representative sample (from the detailed study report):

Quote:
METHODS

GLSEN used two methods to locate survey participants in an effort to obtain a representative national sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth: outreach through community-based groups serving LGBT youth and outreach via the Internet. With our first method, we randomly selected 50 community-based groups from a list of over 300 groups nationwide and asked their youth participants to complete a paper version of the survey. Our second method utilized GLSENís web presence, e-communications, and online advertising to obtain participants. We posted notices of the survey on LGBT-youth oriented listservs and websites and emailed notices to GLSEN chapters and youth advocacy organizations. To ensure representation of transgender youth, youth of color, and youth in rural communities, we made special efforts to reach out to organizations that serve these populations. We also conducted targeted advertising on the MySpace and Facebook social networking sites. The advertisements targeted users between 13 and 18 years of age who gave some indication on their profile that they were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Secondly, in each of the data points recorded, a percentage of respondents answered in the negative. If your contention had any element of truth, some or all measures of bullying would approach 100%. This is not observed in the results.

There is no statistical foundation whatsoever for asserting that the study as scoped and reported is "meaningless".

After pulling numbers for *all* school children in Virginia instead of the numbers for the LGBT target population of the study in Virginia, you make the following assertion:

Originally Posted By: EdfromNYC
So out of around a half a million kids, a self serving study that serves GLSEN's interest, its reason for existence, shows that approximately 0.05% of students have been exposed to homophobic remarks and this is supposed to be newsworthy and generalized across the entire student population?

This study makes no statement about bullying for all school students in Virginia and it collected no data for respondents who were not targets for the study (LGBT kids). It is disingenuous at best to take the percentage of homophobic bullying for lesbian, gay, bi, and trans children and recalculate the percentage based on straight kids who weren't included in the study (and are not the main targets of homophobic bullying) in order to make the problem of anti-gay bullying to LGBT kids seem statistically insignificant.

This kind of distortion and misuse of the data is the definition of bad statistics and bad science. It makes me wonder if your goal is to determine how accurate and true this study is, or to dismiss it and the issue of homophobic bullying wholesale.

Originally Posted By: EdfromNYC
If you want to stand by this as the original poster did, that this was indicative of intolerance, be my guest. I would argue the complete and total opposite. This is indicative of extreme tolerance and any homophobia is absolutely outside the norm if such a small percentage of the population is experiencing this.

GLSEN isn't making a case that homophobic bullying affects all children, only that it affects kids who are *actually* lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender (you know, the targets of homophobic bullying) very significantly.

Originally Posted By: EdfromNYC
Its not that bad. Its bad for some individuals but for the absolute majority, its not bad at all.

I find your contention here both fallacious and illuminating. By your argument, racist bullying isn't a big problem because it only affects people who are of other races (non-white). The material point is that targeted bullying or any other kind of bias is a significant problem to the target community. Your attempts to say that homophobic bullying is a small problem because only LGBT kids experience it is a total nonsense.

Originally Posted By: EdfromNYC
I find organizations like GLSEN specious. I think GLSEN takes individual experiences and extrapolates them out into being the norm and its just not so. This is an example of a poll being used for a press release and THAT'S IT.

This is a methodologically sound study that accurately captures the incidence of homophobic bullying in the LGBT school community and shows how pervasive it is. There is nothing qualitative or anecdotal about this research as you imply. The inability or unwillingness to understand how research is done and the science behind it is not a problem we can address here.

Originally Posted By: EdfromNYC
The absolute majority of young men and women who identify as gay when they are teenagers (always subject to change later in life) are not subject to hostility as the findings of this poll suggest.

Your statement makes no sense at all.

You've spent much of your time trying to dilute the observed incidence of bullying experienced by LGBT kids by saying that only LGBT kids experience it, and scaling it against the entire school population (who wouldn't be the target of homophobic bullying anyway).

Now you are trying to square the circle by saying the absolute majority of LGBT kids are not subject to hostility when the data on homophobic remarks, even assuming the most improbable maximum MoE says:

Quote:
...the 85 percent of gay students who regularly heard homophobic remarks could be as low as 78% or as high as 92%...

I'm sure we're now going to split the hair on what "hostility" means, but even at it's most improbable low, 78% of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans kids regularly hear homophobic remarks.

That number sounds like a clear and absolute majority to me.

That is not even the most important point. The point is that for the affected children the impact on them is severe and follow on studies are beginning to show the impact of this bullying is lifelong leading to extremely poor health outcomes.

The logical conclusion of your pattern of argument is that the incidence of sexual abuse and assault in the research make them equally as "meaningless" when scaled against the whole population, that the motives of the survivor advocacy organizations are equally as self-serving, and so no monies, services, policies, or laws should be moved to address sexual abuse and sexual assault, either.

I find that pattern of thinking unscientific, cynical and defeatist and choose to look to the better angels of our natures.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#366449 - 07/23/11 03:55 PM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
I'm not going to debate you point for point because its not worth it. This kind of study is a headline generator and not really news.

I'm going to make it simple. If you ask african americans if they've been the target of racism, a certain number will say yes. What we don't know is what "racism" means? It so broad its meaningless.

To ask self-identified gay kids whether they've "heard" homophobic remarks is the exactly the same thing. And the group itself's raison d'etre is to find examples of homophobia and lo and behold they found examples of homophobia. There is no distance here.

All these accusations against me like disingenous, unscientific, distorting - its exactly what I claim is the character of this poll and GLSEN.

You just won't concede that I raise any valid issues which of course I do like undefined terminology. You merely make light of it.

I will stand my reading of the results of the study. Because you read it a different way that is favorable to your position doesn't mean you're right. Your tone is incredibly arrogant but this isn't the first time I've encountered that. I will make it a point to avoid you. I find people who debate like you to be very offensive under the guise of seeming rational.

Let me leave you with this - statistics are like a bikini: they show a lot but they don't show everything. Go to Wikipedia (your source material) to understand how statistics can be read in many different ways.

Its obvious you can figure out standard deviation. It goes much further than that; alas, maybe there's some more learning for you to to do. I'm not on this board to teach you about polling and statistics. I am also not here to tolerate your nastiness.





Edited by EdfromNYC (07/23/11 04:02 PM)
_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

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#366454 - 07/23/11 05:45 PM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: EdfromNYC]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Sigh

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Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#366474 - 07/24/11 07:42 AM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: prisonerID]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
i'm sighing just as much here

_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

Top
#366485 - 07/24/11 10:59 AM Re: Virginia schools intolerant? [Re: EdfromNYC]
Driftwood Offline


Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 86
Loc: Colorado
A lot of the threads on this site are heartening to read. I see people working through things and making headway in recovery. This one just leaves me feeling depressed. Itís like getting beat up all over again, the way I was in junior high. I probably feel that way because GLSEN, by conducting this poll, is working to protect kids today from a similar fate. How is that self-serving? Are there children out there who are going to escape being bullied because of GLSENís work? If thereís even a chance that thatís the case, how we could we not champion what theyíre doing?

I don't know anything about polling or statistics or samples or how any of that stuff works. I know what it's like to get beat up. I'm glad there are groups like GLSEN working to protect children.



Edited by Driftwood (07/24/11 11:00 AM)
Edit Reason: typo

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