Matt Beckett: Survey misconstrued

Survey misconstrued

To the editor:

It has come to my attention that the article in the July 24 edition of the Craig Daily Press has created an uprising in community concern.

After studying the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, we have decided to clarify these numbers. We feel they were misrepresented by Bridget Manley, the story's reporter.

There are 297 females in grades 9 to 12 who took the survey. As there is no data in the survey to say exactly how many senior girls there are, we divided that number by the four grades, giving us a total of 75 senior girls. The article stated the 27 percent (actual number is 26 percent) of those females reported being physically forced to have sex against their will. This would give us a total of 19.5 girls. That number is completely incorrect. The question on the survey used in this article was a sub-sample of a smaller percentage. Forty percent of senior girls had never had sexual intercourse, thus eliminating them from answering the question.

The story would have been accurate if it was reported as 26 percent of the 60 percent of senior girls who have had sex report being physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to.

If we apply this to the number of senior girls, we can arrive at the correct figures: 75 female seniors of which 60 percent report having sex, gives us 45 senior girls whom have had sexual intercourse. Of the 45 students who report having sexual intercourse, 26 percent of them said they had been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to. This gives us a correct total of 12 senior girls whom reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse against their will.

This number is still cause for concern and will continue to be monitored as stated in the previous article. It also shows just how detailed and intricate this survey is.

There are six other sub-sample questions relating to sexual intercourse. I write this letter as an example of what a powerful tool data like this is. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is one of our most powerful prevention tools, but it can be easily sensationalized. This survey needs to be studied and understood before conclusions are made.

Like any powerful tool if not understood and used correctly it can do more harm than good. If anyone would like to go over the numbers related to this story, feel free to call me, Matt Beckett, at Grand Futures Prevention Coalition at 824-5752.

Matt Beckett

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition

Moffat County director

Comments

pgerini 5 years, 8 months ago

Your letter is just a bunch of double talk. One rape is one too many!!!!

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lonelyone 5 years, 8 months ago

Matt, I had to read your letter carefully to understand what you getting at. I think I got it. As the new director you do need to keep an eye on this sort of thing, but how do you proprose to do that since the survey is probably only done once a year and usually at the end of the year? How many more girls are forced to do stuff they don't want to do before you are able look at another survey? Some how you have to encourage these girls and maybe even boys, to report these things and then get them help..........if they want it. I realize some don't want help because that means that maybe Moma nd Dad will find out or the other kids in school and many of them do not want that to happen. I think you will have your hands full with this job and I wish you luck.

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irishbrat 5 years, 8 months ago

I think it's great that you took the time to look into it more carefully. Good Job & Good luck with you're new job, i think you will do great at it.

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