Update On A Post From Yesterday

Via Max Read at Gawker comes this Kotaku post which makes a convincing case that Abigail Haworth’s Guardian story about Japan’s lack of interest in sex (which I posted about here) is based on a questionable reading of data in support of a narrative which may not be true. I should have been more circumspect about anything that viral-ready. An excerpt:

“One of the most damning bits of data in The Observer piece purports to say that 90 percent of women say ‘staying single’ is better than what they think being married is like. As Twitter user Inoue Eido points out, the survey actually says that nearly 90 percent of woman who haven’t married do plan on getting hitched. It’s worth noting that the number is higher than it was in the 2002 and the 1997 survey. The original survey also notes that around 87 percent of women think there’s merits to being single—it does not say ‘staying single.’

Data is tricky. It might be factual, but it’s not truth. Here, the data rolled out doesn’t specifically prove people in Japan aren’t having sex. It’s correlation. Guilt by association. Innuendo. What’s more, the numbers simply support the poll at hand, and are not necessarily representative of the larger population. Last year’s U.S. presidential election offers proof positive of that.”

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