Friday, April 13, 2007

Choosing yardsticks

Prayer was the yardstick by which my wife and I each decided to marry. And I recommend it as the most important factor for faithful Latter-day Saints when considering such a decision. However, prayer comes in a lot of different flavors and qualities, and you'll only want the best for this endeavor!

A suitable prayer will involve studying it out in your mind beforehand. This probably involves dating for an extended period of time (none of this falling in love in two weeks flat that I've heard about!). You'll want to know how your partner reacts in a wide variety of circumstances and situations. You'll need to talk explicitly about financial philosophies, ideal family size, gender roles, commitment to the church. When a snag comes up, see whether and how you can deal with it together. The way you play off of each other, the way you can give and take, is really important since a good marriage requires a lot of that.

One "yardstick" I arbitrarily chose for myself was that my wife would need to make me want to be a better person. When my actual wife came along, I thought she failed that test since she didn't really give a flying flip whether I swore or watched R-rated movies. I thought, she doesn't care if I'm EVIL! But, she was fun to be with and look at, so I kept her around. ;-) Eventually I realized that in all the important ways, she does make me want to be a better person. Thanks to her support, I'm becoming the best doctor possible, the best father possible, the best husband, and even a more righteous person. Her patience and support has known no bounds. It's so humbling to think about that my gratitude actually makes me choked up just thinking about it. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't hold too tight to that one arbitrary yardstick (although some version of it is probably good).

There are a couple approaches I've seen recommended for making big decisions. One is to trust the intial flash of insight you get when you overall consider some complex issue. The research on this one is pretty interesting. Another approach is to do actual research yourself--to have the humility to consider that there's a lot of wisdom in the world that you can benefit from. For example, parenting is a scary thing, but it's been done before. If you want to be a good parent, one trick is to actually read a bit about what's worked well for others. You'd be amazed at the data easily available to people, and amazed at the scarcity of parents who give that data any regard.

In the case of marriage, there are gazillions of books available. In the case of mixed orientation marriage, there are some. In the case of LDS MOM, there are few. But, what advice exists ought to be appreciated. The higher the stakes, the more important it is to really be as informed as possible. However, each data point is only a data point. I'm not a fan of turning over life's most important decisions to "the authorities," but neither am I a fan of turning up one's nose at those authorities.

Taking one's mass of experience and information into consideration, one is more prepared to present the issue to the Lord. Even then, it may be hard to open the quality of communication desirable if one is out of the habit of praying or not keeping one's church covenants. Prayer's effectiveness falls outside of the realm of science to measure, in my opinion, and will depend on the faith and faithfulness of the individual (which can never be suitably quantified for comparison). The manual on prayer isn't a scientific one, it's the scriptures. And even more data can be had through the scriptures, so it's a good idea to make scripture reading a part of one's investigation too.

In my opinion, the most important decision I've made in my life was to marry my sweet wife. Left to my own doubts and second-guessing, I may not have done it. But I prayed about it and the answer was affirmative. Since God knows me better than I know myself, I got married. Now I believe my job is to never look back and to make all my thoughts and efforts focused on making it work rather than reconsidering indefinitely what I need or where I'll be happiest. It's one place I think the Savior's advice applies about finding your life through losing it. The results of my decision to marry, and my efforts to make it work, will have "infinite and eternal" ramifications. It makes me glad to think I trusted God.

15 comments:

Beck said...

Very nice, indeed! Thanks for a positive testimonial...

salad said...

thanks, that perspective helps a lot. I appreciate that fact that you are always willing to share your perceptions and insight.

rinlee said...

You know, sometimes I think MOM couples should be enlisted to teach marriage prep classes. Your insights into marriage are something I and a lot of my peers at BYU could benefit from (wanna come speak to my ward? j/k.)

It seems to me that one of the positive things about MOM marriages is that the couples (hopefully--obviously this isn't true in every case) enter into this situation with better communication skills, few illusions, and a whole lot of understanding what's really important; namely, self-sacrifice and commitment to temple covenants.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

Stephalumpagus said...

Yes, thank you. I always enjoy your posts.

Ron Schow said...

-L-

ARDENTMORMON: "That the more conscientious will do their best to become informed is reassuring, but whether they may accept the HH scale or any other yardstick as a suitable criteria depends on their personal confidence in it. If confidence in the HH scale is deserved, great. But, I've yet to see anything substantiated other than repeated reassurances that you can do so." SEE MY LAST POST ON YOUR PREVIOUS BLOG

ARDENTMORMON: "This type of "data" is not the kind of data that can support any scientific conclusion. It's a piece of information, sure, but it's largely heresay and appeals to third party authority. The kind of data I find useful in such a discussion (and necessary if one is to draw out "rules" for whether someone ought to avoid (GET INTO) marriage) is actual numbers, actual percentages, and whether the differences are statistically significant across the outcome groups. I'm interested to see p values, relative risk, 95% confidence intervals, and reassurance that confounders have been statistically accommodated. So, as I said, going from the data you've provided in your initial essay (or these comments) to the conclusions you've drawn is not compelling to me and I see it as somewhat sad that most people mistake it as scientifically supporting your recommendations."

RON: I'm sorry, -L- but it seems to me you can't have it both ways. If you want to talk about yardsticks....(PRAYER and the HH SCALE) and then you trash the outcomes recorded carefully by a highly qualified and faithful LDS therapist who created elaborate charts and counted his outcomes over a 30 year period on over a 1000 clients who he kept in touch with for many years, but you want me to accept your "sealed premise about prayer" and you provide "nothing" except one "5 year outcome" as evidence of your strong faith in this yardstick........ that doesn't cut it. If you want to require all these "high standards for research design and outcomes" then you need to play by the same rules.

Do you have any idea how many MOMs were entered into without prayer?? Not many in LDS circles, I think I can say with some authority. I have a sample of 135-6 highly faithful LDS (71% RMs) who describe how many years and how many bishops they counseled with and how long they petitioned the Lord, etc. Do you really want to put that up against your n=1. I'm prepared to discuss a process I have undertaken to study this issue for almost two decades, but if we don't have information that meets your exacting standards, we might have to consider carefully and "prayerfully" what information we do have.

Let's play by the same rules here.

:)

I pray too.

Ron

-L- said...

Looks like I hit a nerve. :-)

I've discussed before why you can't play by the same rules when discussing science and religion. I specifically mentioned that prayer can't really be assessed by science (or rather, I wouldn't trust the results) in anticipation of your objection. I have not put my n of one against all your data, I don't think that's informative of anything in the least, because we don't know the actual spiritual situation of those folks, what their prayers actually said, what their answers actually were. If you don't believe prayer is an effective way to guide our decisions, then we have a difference in religious belief, not science.

And I certainly don't consider what I've said to be "trashing" your outcomes. :-) Let's not be so dramatic, Ron! I'll go look at the data you just posted and respond now.

And here are a few more specific responses:

"Do you have any idea how many MOMs were entered into without prayer?? Not many in LDS circles, I think I can say with some authority."

Can you? Let's have the data then-how many MOMs were entered after an unequivocal spiritual answer to a direct prayerful question of whether if was the right thing to do? What percentage? What was the actual question you asked in the survey? Where was the data published? ;-) Don't be so eager to put your "authority" on the line.

"...you provide "nothing" except one "5 year outcome" as evidence of your strong faith in this yardstick"

As I mentioned before, I think the evidence for prayer is not just in my N of 1. Please see the scriptures for more information. ;-) I'm sorry, I just can't resist being glib sometimes. But, seriously, I completely understand both your objection that I'm not playing by the same rules and the objection that many, if not all, MOMs have been based on prayer. That's precisely why this post is largely about making the prayer a good one--making it a more significant effort than your typical nightly ritual. Perhaps, if I were to venture a hypothesis, the quality of the MOM would be in direct relation to the care, time, and spiritual certitude that went into and resulted from preparation for and "real intent" prayerful consultation with God.

Now how do you measure that?

Hence, it's outside science for good and non-arbitrary reasons. So sorry for the unfair playing field. I'm just sayin' it like I see it.

I have no doubt you pray, and I have no desire to imply spiritual condemnation on anyone whose marriages haven't worked out. It's a touchy subject to discuss, certainly, but I decided I was still going to say what I think is true--unscientifically, of course.

-L- said...

Oops... forgot to include this link to my discussion on the different rules of science and religion. In case you're interested.

Ron Schow said...

OK......-L-

I've read your 5 essays on science and religion and I don't really object to anything you say there. As you know, I too consider myself a man of faith and of science. But as you point out, when we live life a day at a time, we can't just keep these two things in separate compartments. At some point we have to decide to marry or not to marry. The science and the faith must come together. You have a "grand unifying theory" which seems to be your way of doing that. It seems to me that when we start lining up our "yardsticks" and you want to say prayer is "the" yardstick and seem to think it is better than the 3 yardsticks I've suggested then each person has to decide whether we use one of these or all 4 or that one is better than the others or whatever. In short, I'm not a disbeliever who is scoffing at your use of prayer. I'm simply saying that if you want to evaluate how much you can trust these yardsticks, we need to see how consistent and helpful they have been in the past. And as I say, I have some information on that from a group of LDS folks who have been on this path of homosexual attraction and considering or being in MOMs. These 136 good saints had deep roots in Mormon culture and in prayer.

"Of the 136 respondents, 112 (82%) reported attempts to change by personal efforts, ecclesiastical counseling or professional therapy. Those who tried to change on their own used strategies such as prayer, scripture study and fasting over an average of 11 years."

We summarized this way...

"While some bisexuals (those with scores of 1-4 on the HH Scale) may be able to establish relatively successful marriages the ...survey "suggests" that those who attempt marriage when their scores are 5 and 6 on the HH Scale will have unsuccessful marriages even though they have a strong history of church activity and service."

Ok, this is a suggestion, it is not meant to tell everyone what to do. But what I am saying is that if you are facing a 5-6 HH level, you had better consider whether you want sex every day or if 4 times a year is just fine, thank you (libido), and you had better have some really great compatibility with this partner because you are not going to have that wonderful magical sexual bonding that most hetero couples have to smooth over some of the rough spots in a marriage.

I think it is pretty clear that the great majority of these folks were using all the spiritual tools they could muster to get guidance on this.

ARDENTMORMON: "Perhaps, if I were to venture a hypothesis, the quality of the MOM would be in direct relation to the care, time, and spiritual certitude that went into and resulted from preparation for and "real intent" prayerful consultation with God."

RON: Wow, I really think now you are trying to say the ones who failed had a flawed method. I can't begin to tell you how damaging that kind of thinking is to hundreds of LDS gay folks who have been told to pray and follow their leaders, etc and when that fails them, then it is their fault. They don't have enough faith. They didn't pray the right way.

BTW...you can see our full report on our website..www.ldsresources.info go to the professional section..read the material on "The Persistence of SSA...." The survey questions are all there.

Praying...what am I praying about??? Among other things I'm praying about this whole matter and what the information we have seems to mean.

-L- said...

Ron, there's a big difference between the kind of prayer I've mentioned for the specific purpose of deciding whether to marry and the numbers of people being active LDS and praying in trying to change their sexual orientation. Basically, the data you've cited has nothing to do with my post (but is interesting anyway).

When I talk about "studying it out," I'm implicitly including an assessment of one's HH scale, one's libido, one's maturity--it's all good supportive data to take to the Lord for the final deliberations. But, yes, I think the best yardstick is going to be God's word on the subject, even if it directly contradicts what you think the data says, the advice PhD writers give you, the advice your bishop gives you, etc.

As I said before, you won't be able to measure the kind of prayer that I think correlates with getting clear communication from God. It can't be externally measured. You can try, but you'll get data that will say nothing (and will be mistaken for having said something) and that's a terrible risk many don't seem to understand.

"Wow, I really think now you are trying to say the ones who failed had a flawed method."

No, if that's what I was trying to say, I would have said it.

"I can't begin to tell you how damaging that kind of thinking is to hundreds of LDS gay folks who have been told to pray and follow their leaders, etc and when that fails them, then it is their fault."

I didn't say to put this decision in the hands of your leaders, I said to put it in the hands of God. And leaders ought to be saying the same thing. I said nothing about fault or blame.

"... They don't have enough faith. They didn't pray the right way."

There are many reasons a marriage may fail, and for some it's because they don't have enough faith and they didn't pray the right way. I'm not saying who that applies to, and I don't think anyone else has the right to either. Marriages often fail because of failures on the part of one of the partners, and you have no more right to absolve everyone of responsibility for those failures in the dissolution of their marriage than anyone else has a right to place blame where they are in no position to do so.

You've changed the meaning of my words (I hope inadvertently). I do think that there is real benefit to the long term success of one's marriage proportional to the care and effort put into the decision. That's all I said, and I do believe it. It's probably not a rule without exceptions, but my intent here is to encourage care and effort in making such a decision, something well worthwhile despite the exceptions. And something I'm certain you believe in.

Ron Schow said...

-L-

I would like to say, for the record, that this kind of blog discussion is not how I typically approach my work. I have engaged here in a many pronged discussion on a variety of topics with several different people at once. It can get pretty challenging. I will probably even say some things at times, that I will have to go back to and change or rephrase. Certainly when I do scientific work or writing, it takes a long time to get it in the best possible shape you can. I hope that in a discussion among friends (which is the sense of the discussion with you) that when I find those things that need reworking, you will understand that I try to bring critical thinking skills to this blog and some understanding of my observations over the years, but I don't come saying this blogging is a scientific process.

Having said that, I would like to address your concern that I am trying to use my survey data to scientifically prove something about the success of MOMs. I don't think I'm in a position to give success numbers for MOMs, but neither do I want to discard or throw out what we do know.

Here is one way I would describe my thinking on this issue. I believe that the HH Scale is very, very helpful and that it should be a consideration as we try to decide what we can do with the information we have and as we try to give suggestions to others.

You have said you don't want us to overgeneralize from data and I agree we should not do that. I don't think I have said too much more in my Dialogue article than that, if other things are equal (and other things should be considered), the HH Scale is an indicator of how much challenge there will be in an MOM. I also suggested we use our data from Affirmation and NARTH data (notice these are data from both sides when Jeff says unfairly, I think, that my work is "primarily a distillation of the experiences of just" certain people).

But, I wander from the issue at hand............ you say,

ARDENTMORMON: Again, the ultimate point is that although the raw data you provide is interesting and people ought to be made aware of it, people should NOT believe that your suggestions are scientifically supported as predictive of success or divorce in MOMs.

....they seem to think that these conclusions are based on science." .....I think quite a few have bought into the idea of causation where this has not been demonstrated (and the way you speak of the data and your experience over the years, "perhaps" you may believe causation was demonstrated by this data too).

RON: I don't think I have demonstrated causation. I think both the NARTH data and my simple survey data have some value, but they are not proof of causation.

Science in my mind is partly a matter of careful, critical thinking. There is not just one kind of science. Medical science is one form, and one you probably know a lot more about than I do. Simply categorizing and organizing is another form of science. Proving causation is very problematic, as you obviously know. I don't recall saying anything in my Dialogue article like "I have proven with science....etc, etc." I tried to be careful in what I said there.

Jeff has emphasized that marriage is extremely complex. I agree. I don't propose that I know all the issues, or that I have data to address them, but I'm trying to sort out what I think we do know and I don't think we can wait 15-20 years to give some guidance to those facing this in their lives. As Forester says in your most recent blog, he'd like someone (or some manual) to talk about what we do know. He'd like some people who have been down this road to interact with, who will address the issue in Church circles.

So, I go back to my suggestion that the HH Scale is useful. I said this...

"....it is evident to me that 1) there are strong data to support the prevalence of bisexuality. Further, it is strongly supported in the Byrd data and in our data that 2) among these persons who are greatly challenged by this issue, a large majority are 5s and 6s on the HH Scale."

I also think that you cannot claim something like (I won't look for an exact quote) "prayer is the best yardstick" and then refuse to consider how many times prayer has led people in the wrong direction. Like you, I believe, prayer has to be part of "studying it out in your mind and heart" and not just something on its own.

I guess I'm having a problem with you wanting to define science in this very narrow way, which doesn't even allow science to consider prayer. Yes, I understand you can't prove everything in the gospel, but the gospel is orderly, and we can bring our critical skills with us when we discuss it.

If you want the HH numbers on the 36 marriages, I have them, but again I don't think I'm trying to prove anything from those numbers or suggesting that this is a sample of all LDS MOMs. What I'm really saying is that among these folks who have been great Mormons up to a certain point, they seem to have hit a brick wall, and most of them are 5s and 6s.

I suggest the HH Scale also explains a lot of the argument over "change." To me it is well supported in very scientific work like the Lauman, et al study and it can be very helpful. Some want to ignore it and try to discredit it, but I believe that is a mistake. Anyway, this post is long enough (too long), so let's come back to that later.

Ron

-L- said...

Ron: "I don't think I have said too much more in my Dialogue article than that, if other things are equal (and other things should be considered), the HH Scale is an indicator of how much challenge there will be in an MOM."

And yet this conclusion can not be validly reached from the data you presented there alone. I'm going to start keeping track of how many times I say this. ;-)

"There is not just one kind of science. Medical science is one form, and one you probably know a lot more about than I do. Simply categorizing and organizing is another form of science."

Nope, it's all the same science. The only two types of science are good and bad. Whatever the subject, whatever the methods, whatever the results, science means clearly identifying what we know, what we're trying to find out, what we did find out, and what it does or might mean. It's this last one that gets people into the most trouble.

"...but I'm trying to sort out what I think we do know and I don't think we can wait 15-20 years to give some guidance to those facing this in their lives."

I'm all for working with what we do know. But it was NOT waiting for better info that has prompted electroshock aversion therapy and the likes. It's probably somewhat of a cliche when well-meaning scientists believe they are doing something good with what they think they know and end up overshooting and creating some real problems (how many movie titles can you name in 60 seconds? ready go!). I've been quoted your data many, many times over the last several months. I've seen it on main-stream bloggernacle blogs, I've seen in comments, and I've seen it used to directly predict that my personal marriage will fail. However you intended your data to be taken, it is being widely (and inaccurately) interpreted as doom for MOMs. This is a tragedy (and not entirely attributable to you, of course). And not a single time in all those quotes was it mentioned that the data came from an Affirmation conference. I didn't know this until a couple days ago.

"I also think that you cannot claim something like (I won't look for an exact quote) "prayer is the best yardstick" and then refuse to consider how many times prayer has led people in the wrong direction.
...
I guess I'm having a problem with you wanting to define science in this very narrow way, which doesn't even allow science to consider prayer. Yes, I understand you can't prove everything in the gospel, but the gospel is orderly, and we can bring our critical skills with us when we discuss it."


It is precisely my critical skills that force me not to attempt to examine the quality and results of individual prayers. As I've blogged about before, science and religion have a different set of basic assumptions and the most fundamental of these is the lack of repeatability in religion. Another important distinction is the subjective nature of most supernatural phenomena. You've interpreted my reluctance to subject prayer to scientific scrutiny to be breaking the rules, but it is just the opposite--forcing spiritual issues into the scientific method is breaking the rules. It's not an ad hoc excuse, it is a deliberate decision extending from application of my "critical skills".

Many thanks for discussing these issues with me, Ron. I wish you all the best as you continue your work.

Ron Schow said...

-L-

You quoted me and responded.

Ron: "I don't think I have said too much more in my Dialogue article than that, if other things are equal (and other things should be considered), the HH Scale is an indicator of how much challenge there will be in an MOM."

ARDENTMORMON: And yet this conclusion can not be validly reached from the data you presented there alone. I'm going to start keeping track of how many times I say this. ;-)

RON: Please remember the data you cite was mentioned in less than 10 lines in a 10 page article. It was not these data alone that caused me to draw this conclusion. Besides that, you alone cannot simply say what is valid and what is not, no matter how many times you say it.

Yes, you can ignore the over 800 clients from NARTH and the 136 clients from Affirmation, even though both sets of data show what I say they do. 68% of the NARTH respondents and 86% of the Affirmation respondents are essentially 5 and 6 on the HH Scale. This means that the great, great majority of those who are dealing with/challenged by this orientation issue who seek help or report it (on both sides) are 5s and 6s. It means that I can validly say, based on these broad findings, that OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, those with 5s and 6s are most often the ones challenged by this issue.

Now, of course, you don't have to accept that. You can also ignore the LDSFS therapist who kept elaborate records for 30 years on his clients. He reported that among 200 single male clients who were in therapy for 1-3 years, only 20 of them ever married and only one of the 20 was not bisexual.

You can also ignore the past president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists (AMCAP) (Beverly Shaw, Ph.D.) who wrote in our "Persistence" summary on our website, of the "hundreds" of clients she has seen over the years. She said,

"In my experience it is those bisexual individuals for whom reparative therapy has some possible help. For those further along the homosexual end of the ocntinuum, reparative therapy is yet another instance of dashed hope." (p. 16)

You can likeways insist that there are not two kinds of science "Nope, it's all the same science. The only two types of science are good and bad." But I teach my students that there are descriptive science and descriptive statistics, and there are inferential science and statistics in which we talk about .05 and .01 probabilities. But you can insist that there is only one kind of science. You just can't expect me or everyone to believe you alone know unerringly how to define science.

I also refuse to let you, simply because you've written a blog, insist that you alone know how the gospel should relate to science. I will continue to seek for consistency and order in my understanding of the gospel. I will continue to dovetail my prayers with what I study out in my mind and heart and not rely on prayer alone without the foundation of science.

Yes, you can ignore the reports of reputable LDS therapists on their hundreds of clients and insist that they don't meet your standards. But I see little value of doing that.

But, maybe it is time to consider other resources, since you have now told me what you do and don't like about this one article.

Perhaps somewhere, sometime you will want to consider other resources on our site.

I'd certainly be interested to talk about so-called change therapy.

BTW, I can't be responsible for what other people say to you about your marriage or my data or writing. Those are their own sins. I myself personally support your MOM. I wish you the best as I did Ben.

Warmly,
Ron

-L- said...

What I mean by "good" science is science that is precise in detailing what is known and what is not and in supporting conclusions and recommendations with the necessary data. In some minor ways, your paper just plain didn't do that effectively. Overall, it was great. And, of course you are not FULLY responsible for how everyone else interprets your data and your writings, but you do carry some of the responsibility because you wrote it imprecisely with some key missing acknowledgements of confounders (selection bias and potentially others) and never quantified statistical signficance in the first place. My impression is that acknowledgements such as these are the responsibility of ALL scientists whenever they are relevant (or necessary to support the conclusions), not just in a few branches. Your language specifically emphasized the faithfulness of the men in your study population, and specifically did not disclose the study population, thus giving the false impression that it could be generalized to other faithful LDS men.

Besides that, you alone cannot simply say what is valid and what is not, no matter how many times you say it.

What is valid in science is not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of whether a conclusion logically follows from the material considered--a matter of numbers and precise language. Don't characterize this as me asserting my maverick opinion here, I'm using the word "validity" according to its actual definition. My understanding is that descriptive studies are more fast and loose with speculation and not so heavy on the statistical analysis, but in that case they must refrain from making recommendations as if they follow from the unanalyzed descriptors. If they do, it's an invalid recommendation.

It means that I can validly say, based on these broad findings, that OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, those with 5s and 6s are most often the ones challenged by this issue.

Your paper did not provide this data and did not merely say what you have said here. I've searched your paper and I see nowhere within it where this verbiage is used. It went further and said when 5s and 6s probably should not have married and criticizes the view that "marriage may be an option 'with the Lord's help.'" I take this as overstating what you can validly support. And what do you mean by, "OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL"? Did you actually measure that other things were equal? What confounders were controlled in the analysis? WAS there any analysis short of tabulating the totals and percentages? How about in the other studies? (I'm genuinely asking since you're more familiar with them than I am.)

However, in an effort toward conciliation, I'll concede that this may only be invalid if one reads your recommendations as given authoritatively and not merely speculatively. In rereading the paper, I think your word choice and tone was overall very good and the ideas properly conveyed.

Yes, you can ignore... Now, of course, you don't have to accept ... You can also ignore... Perhaps somewhere, sometime you will want to consider other resources on our site.

I'm primarily discussing your paper in Dialogue, Ron, not trying to solve all problems on the subject or tabulate all relevant data written by anyone anywhere. I think this may have been a large part of our misunderstanding. If we're just discussing what you think is true and supported by any data anywhere, I have no problem accepting that MOMs are more challenging the more homosexually oriented a person may be. I know it firsthand already! But your paper said more than this and is frequently used to justify others saying more than this.

I've not ignored the data you provided in the paper, nor the data you referenced in the article. I've not even ignored the data you've provided in your comments here (except maybe when it's a tad bit off-topic. lol). And, I suppose if you think vigilant attention to the data is necessary, I could wonder why you didn't make the data more explicit in your paper?

I want to reemphasize (again) that I think the paper was overall very good and conveyed information that I think people really ought to have and cautions which have been overlooked in the past. Thanks for that.

And I'm still interested to know what kind of confounders you think might have been introduced by using Affirmation as the study population, and I'm still interested in knowing the HH scale level of the folks whose marriages persisted.

I also want to suggest that you slow down a little bit in terms of the blogging comments. We don't have to solve all these issues all at once on this post. The length and frequency of these comments is just plain not sustainable for me to keep up with given my other responsibilities. :-) We'll have plenty of opportunities moving forward to sort it all out.

playasinmar said...

Hooray! Ron Schow, you are hereby adopted into the Blogspot community! We do hope you stick around. :)

Ron Schow said...

playasinmar

Thanks for the warm welcome. :)

This is fun!!!!


-L-

You've asked me quite a few questions in your last blog. I'll pause for a while as you suggested, and then when I respond, try to answer them.

As a teaser, let me mention that you want to know why I didn't talk more about "the study population."

The Dialogue article didn't have "A" study population. I referenced Evergreen data, LDSFS data, Affirmation data, Beverly Shaw data, Bob Rees data, etc and talked about the two men featured within "In Quiet Desperation." I didn't try to describe any of these data populations extensively, but I listed the references for all of them so the reader could check them out if interested. The pattern of my citations was in line I think with the standards for technical writing of this type. It was not my intent to hide or distort anything.

OK. I'll let that be enough for now and leave many questions unanswered until later.