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.
Grand Futures Prevention Coalition
Moffat County director