Children Need... THIS?
THE FATHER'S RIGHTS MOVEMENT: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
EXCERPT FROM A REVIEW OF
(an example of dishonest statistics)
"Although I agree with what I think is his basic message -- that traditional sex roles have served none of us very well -- the book has quickly degenerated into an odd sort of logic designed to prove that men have never had power, they were just tricked into believing they had power by those deceitful, ungrateful parasites, women.
"The writing is poor, the logic faulty. While reading it, I feel as if I am fighting my way through a fog bank - there's nothing to grab on to, but I can't see anything, either. Is this the best the men's movement has to offer? I would appreciate references to something more substantial - this seems on a par with the Men Who/Women Who self-help silliness.
"FWIW, I have tracked down one of his stats which intrigued me.
"On p. 32 he says that female-headed households have greater net worth than male-headed households. The citation given is to a table in Statistical Abstract of the United States; consulting that, I found that the data was originally published in a Current Population Report called Household Wealth and Asset Ownership: 1984; the data itself comes from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, a survey designed in part to augment information available from the Census of Pop & Housing.
"Farrell says that women who are heads of households have a net worth that is 141 percent of the net worth of men who are heads of households. He then goes on to explain that net worth is assets minus liabilities, and that female heads of households have higher net worths than male heads of households "because although male heads of households have higher gross incomes and assets, they have much higher spending obligations. They are much more likely to support wives (or ex-wives) than wives are to support them and thus their income is divided among themselves, a wife, and children...." (p. 33)
"However, the Census table (both in the original report & the Stat Ab) gives THREE categories for type of household: married-couple households (median net worth $50,116), female householders (med. net worth $13,855) and male householders (med. net worth $9,883). The commentary on this is interesting enough that I'm going to include it here:
"There is a more recent version of this available, giving data for 1988 and 1991 (CPR P70-34; also called Household Wealth and Asset Ownership). The overall picture is similar, though female-maintained households had a statistically higher med. net worth than males in the 55-64 age category ($39,591 vs. $30,857; excluding home equity, it's $6,048 vs. $5,860). Unfortunately neither report looks at the size of the household (one person living alone counts as a household) or at the presence of children.
"I chose this statistic to investigate partly because it struck me as interesting and curious but also because I am a government documents reference librarian and work with Census data extensively. I am most distressed to discover Farrell's distortion and misrepresentation of clearly presented data; it makes me question the validity of his other stats. I am about to read the section on death rates & will be checking up on him in Vital Statistics of the United States.
"Please, if anyone has suggestions for other, less foggy reading -- send them to me!"
-- Cynthia Teague
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