Thread: Group Sex Poll
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:11 PM
hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 438

Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I just find this whole poll offensive and worse, unscientific. I mean, I can deal with being offended, I do it all the time. But as a scientist, I am much more disturbed by your research methodology. First you start with an assumption, admitting that you know assumptions are dangerous but ignoring that fact and following through with it regardless. That is not a way to do science, even social science which is soft at best.

I guarantee, a number of respected researchers have done very thorough surveys of these exact topics, using proper sampling techniques, respected meters of relationship health, and proper statistical analysis. They published their results, and if you're in a college or university then you should have access to those journals. Try talking to your professor about how you can access these results. Because if your reference list includes "I asked some people on the internet" then you'll probably lose marks, but if your reference list includes "Kinseley, A. 'Sex Behavior in the Human Animal.'" then you might do a bit better.
Go a little easy here. A lot of this is on the instructor, and on the OP's program of study.

If the OP is an undergraduate who is not being trained as a social scientist but just taking a one-off elective or even a one-off social science requirement, it's unlikely he's expected to master anything like rigorous empirical methodology (or, for that matter, research ethics protocols).

(I'm not a social scientist myself, but I teach in a program in which students at all levels are required to take a full, semester-length course in research design, and in which undergraduates take a year-long capstone course in which they conduct research for clients. So, I have some sense of what a rigorous curriculum looks like.)

Most likely, this is a lazy sort of assignment on the instructor's part, asking students to take on a sort of toy project, to go out and collect data like pebbles on a beach, and do somethingorother with their collection for class credit.

So, no, it's not good science, not even good social science. (Some of my social scientist colleagues would rankle at this. Some of them are quite excruciatingly rigorous in their methodology, it's just the object of their study that is "soft" . . . ) But it's meant to be "a learning experience."

If I'm right about this, I'm sure the OP is learning quite a lot from this forum, though perhaps not what he expected to learn!

So, Thisguy, am I right in thinking you're doing this project for an undergraduate course? Is it a one-off elective? Did the course include any kind of training in empirical methodology for this kind of thing, or were you just turned loose to figure it out for yourself?
the cake is a lie

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 12-02-2011 at 01:36 PM.
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