Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh Ree-hee-heeally?

In a headline, The Daily Mail exclaims:

"The Nattering Classes: Women gossip for FIVE hours every day, study claims"

Yep. All women. Apparently.

The article begins:

"It will come as no surprise to their often less talkative male counterparts."

Of course it won't. The cool thing about science is that it's always confirming what people already Just Know about gender and sex differences, am I right? Hence, no need to raise a skeptical eye about this study's findings regarding the "typical woman."

Yet, fun fact! Buried within the article is this statement, regarding the study's origins:

"The survey was commissioned to mark FirstCape Cafi Collection’s search to find Britain’s Queen of Chat."

FirstCape Cafi is apparently a wine company that held a Queen of Chat contest because they were "keen to try and bottle up the energy and buzz created when girls have a get together [sic]."

Now, why a wine company would presumably be marketing its products to girls, as opposed to women of drinking age, I'm not sure.

But more importantly, despite my best efforts*, I have been unable to find this Wine Company-Sponsored "survey" in any peer-reviewed journal or even on Internet. None of the various articles I found citing this "survey" referenced actual investigators associated with the study, where the study could be found in its entirety, or what the study's title even was. I guess since this study already confirms everything We All Just Know About Woman, we just won't be curious, then, about how many women this study included, whether it included any men, how many of the survey respondents answered in hopes of trying to win the "Queen of Chat" title (and consequent free wine for a year, SCORE!), what the survey's methodology was, how it was designed, and how the data was collected, will we?

Nope, we just won't be curious about any of that, because gawd knows, women sure love to prattle and good thing this study came along and confirmed that!

(*Note: My best efforts include 10 minutes of googling around for the study. But still, I'm pretty sure that's more work than most of the mainstream-ish journalists citing it have put into the endeavor.)

Related: Anti-Equality Blogger Not Curious Enough About Citation

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