Harry

Especially For Young Women

 
   

Angry Harry Protests!

Always willing to pontificate about everything under the sun to whosoever will listen, I have decided to pick on two of the posts that are currently on MND and to comment upon them.

1. The first is a piece entitled Sexually Active Teenagers are More Likely to be Depressed and Attempt Suicide by Jeremy Reynalds.

As one can gather from the title, this piece summarises some research findings that suggest that sexually active teenagers are more likely to be depressed and attempt suicide than are sexually inactive teenagers. However, both the article and, presumably, the research itself are extremely deceptive.

The article tries to lead the reader into the conclusion that sexual activity in teenagers is the very cause of depression and attempted suicide, but it makes no attempt whatsoever to explore the highly likely possibility that teenagers who engage in sex are the ones most likely to be seeking some form of solace, or some form of excitement, or some form of escape from the circumstances that they inhabit.

For example, teenagers from broken homes might well engage in sex at an earlier age than do those from happy homes, and they are also more likely to be depressed. But it does not follow that any depression that they experience is a direct result of the sex rather than the direct result of a broken home.

Similarly, it might well be the case that teenagers who indulge in sex are more predisposed to take risks - perhaps due to genetic factors - and that teenagers who are more predisposed to take risks are more likely to get depressed.

But the article has nothing to say about such possibilities - and there are many, many others. 

It is, therefore, little more than a piece of propaganda.

And it shows!

None of the above is to suggest that teenage sex does not lead, statistically speaking, to the consequences described, but I find it deeply irritating to see articles quoting 'scientific' research in support of their claims when the scope of the research being quoted does not actually warrant the claims being made on the basis of it.

And, even worse, the acceptance of such unwarranted claims could easily lead to very damaging consequences.

Here is an example.

Imagine that some research discovered that teenagers who watched TV after 10 o'clock were more likely to be depressed.

Could one simply conclude that the programmes after 10 o'clock were causing the depression?

Of course not.

It is far more likely that, statistically speaking, depressed teenagers simply gawp at the TV screen for much longer than do non-depressed teenagers - and so they are, therefore, far more likely to be watching after 10 o'clock.

But what if the researchers did erroneously conclude that the TV was, in fact, the cause of the depression? And so they said to the parents, "Do not let your children watch the TV after 10 o'clock because it will cause them to be depresssed," and the parents duly obliged.

What would then happen to the depressed teenagers who were now forbidden to watch the TV after 10 o'clock? What else might they do to alleviate their depression?

Well, of course, they might decide to kill themselves!

And the same might be true if teenagers were prevented from having sex!

This is why social 'science' can be very dangerous. Human beings and the circumstances that surround them are usually far too complex to allow one to make any grand claims about them on the basis of what is usually very simplistic research.

My piece entitled Smack those Bottoms? concerning the  smacking of children gives some indication of just how useless  is much of social science research, and, indeed, of just how dangerous to our society it can be when its truly severe limitations are not recognised - and are not even mentioned in articles.

2. The second piece is entitled A Way to Win by George Rolph.

It is a very good piece indeed, with some sound advice for men's activists. 

But I have a complaint

And it is a complaint that I have made against many men's activists in the past -  particularly when they have had the effrontery to suggest that I, myself, am far too belligerent!

George fails completely to take cognisance of the fact that much of what he advises has already been done for years by various men's activists. Writing polite letters and trying to cosy up to the politicians or to the media or to the judges does not work!

In the UK we have charities such as Families Need Fathers which have been doing this sort of thing for almost 30 years. Despite a membership of some 3000, Families Need Fathers has achieved very little and hardly anyone has even heard of them.

Needless to say, it is not a significant force!

It undoubtedly does help a lot of fathers with their own personal affairs but it is a complete failure when it comes to bringing about any change.

And if all men's activists were to operate in the same manner, the men's movement would get absolutely nowhere. Their issues and their movement would simply be dismissed out of hand - particularly by those with power, who are far too busy watching their backs and accommodating to those who do have the audacity to keep attacking them.

Far too many men do not realise that much of the world does not currently operate on the basis of what is right, and true, and best. It operates on the basis of strong demands and powerful forces that emanate from sources that have their own agendas.

Indeed, the feminist movement did not gain its astonishing power by following George's advice!

The feminists got their power by screaming, bullying, threatening and intimidating. They were hostile, aggressive, deceitful, dishonourable, utterly selfish, and quite prepared to carry out their threats.

And the idea that the men's movement could ever compete with such groups for the attention of the media, the politicians and even the public on the basis of quiet protest is just plain wrong.

It is the groups that are strong, determined, highly vocal and intimidating who tend to lead the way.

And the same goes for the group members themselves. 

Did Martin Luther King and Malcolm X appear to be quiet boys?

Did Hitler present himself as a tender soul?

Did Stalin?

Did Germaine Greer, Betty Friedan, Catherine MacKinnon, Gloria Steinem and all the other major feminists come across as very reasonable and gentle human beings?

No. They did not.

Did George Bush get a huge vote of popular support immediately after 9/11 by saying that he would have a quiet chat with Osama Bin Laden?

Did the Vietnam war protesters stop the war by saying a word here and a word there?

No. They did not.

A movement that does not shout and stamp its feet makes little headway.

Furthermore, not only is it the case that it is the persistently belligerent who usually end up calling the shots, but when it comes to attracting the attention of the public, the evidence shows quite clearly that one needs to generate heat!

For example, the tabloid press in the UK - which is very vitriolic - sells 5 times more newspapers than the relatively sedate - but vastly more informative - broadsheets.

The way to sell papers is to create a storm.

And the same is true for the men's movement.

Cannabis Bad For Driving Drivers who have taken even small quantities of cannabis almost double their risk of being involved in a fatal road accident, according to research published yesterday.

HOWEVER!

Alcohol was found to play a far greater role in fatal car crashes, accounting for 28.6 per cent compared with about 2.5 per cent for cannabis.

The effect of alcohol was more than 10 times greater.

And, of course, the finding concerning cannabis could be a load of hokum!

Well. OK. OK. I exaggerate.

For effect! - and, of course, to keep the following arguments very simple - to cater for my less able readers.

Of which there are many!

For example, is it not possible that those who had cannabis in their bodies were, on average, more 'stressed out' than those who did not  - which is, perhaps, why they took the cannabis in the first place?

In other words, it might not have been the cannabis that caused the extra accidents, but being 'stressed out'.

In fact, the cannabis might have actually reduced the number of accidents!

Yes. Really!

On the basis of this research you really could not conclude that cannabis did not reduce the number of accidents.

Hey everybody. Angry Harry has finally gone mad.

That poor man needs a break.

He needs a good holiday - with lots of naked women to pamper and look after him.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Well, of course, this might sound crazy, at first, but when you think about it, it is not so crazy.

Let us say, for example, that the degree of being 'stressed out' while driving could actually be measured in the bodies of those who had fatal car accidents.

Well. It might be the case that 'stressed out' would be found to be the main factor causing accidents, and, further, it might be the case that cannabis actually reduced the likelihood of a fatal accident in those who were 'stressed out'!

And this research would not have been able to discover this most intriguing possibility. 

But, if this possibility is, in fact, the case, then reducing cannabis consumption might increase the number of fatal accidents!

Yes. It's true!

Well, of course, my own belief is that anyone driving around who is doped heavily with cannabis is quite likely to have an increased likelihood of an accident.

But I also believe that many serious car accidents are caused by aggression and irritability - i.e. by being 'stressed out'.

As such, it would not surprise me in the least if it is one day discovered that cannabis both increases and reduces the likelihood of an accident.

Therefore, the important question would be in connection with the overall balance of the effects of cannabis.

In other words, it is important to compare how much stress cannabis is reducing - which will likely decrease the number of accidents - with how much both attention and response times are being debilitated by it - which will likely increase the number of accidents.

Who knows? The former might well carry greater weight than the latter!

And, in my view, the jury is still out when it comes to ascertaining what the overall effect might be across thousands of individuals.

(Indeed, I seem to remember some piece of research showing that drivers who had recently taken cannabis tended to drive more slowly and more cautiously than they would otherwise have done.)

Well, the truth is that across the entire population of drivers we simply do not know what the overall effects are. And this piece of research has done precious little to enlighten us on the matter.

I should nevertheless emphasise that my bet would be that, overall, cannabis does not have a good effect on accident rates, but I am willing to bet that the 2.5% of fatal accidents allegedly caused by cannabis would only drop very marginally if no driver ever smoked cannabis - particularly if they ingested something else instead! - like tranquilisers.

Anyway. 

The above piece was not written to promote the taking of cannabis but simply to demonstrate to my readers that the conclusions often reached by researchers - even medical researchers - are often not as valid as, at first, they might appear to be.

 

 

 



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