Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Researching The Real Deal on Facebook?

Just yesterday I made my unofficial return to Facebook and already I've found it helpful to one of my recent causes.  It seems that the "good" people at, "The Real Deal of Saline County" have been ignoring my requests for information, while they offer it freely on their Facebook page.  HMPH!

Check it out:

First, I have to say this: Evan Witt is the shit!  Dude got more than I did.  Nice work, hoss.  (You're welcome on the new nickname, by the way.)

Okay, I should admit something else.  As if these guys didn't already give me enough to whine about, now I'm feeling shunned.  Sure, I got an email, but it was a very poor effort if you ask me.  So, after I read this excuse for a source, I decided to dig a little deeper since now I have somewhat of an idea what I'm looking for.  After a few minutes of searching for "Abstinence By Choice", here's what I found on the AbstinenceWorks.org site:

Abstinence By Choice
State: Arkansas
Study: Weed, S.E. (2001, October 15). Title V abstinence education programs: Phase I interim evaluation report to Arkansas Department of Health. Salt Lake City: Institute for Research and Evaluation.
Statistically Significant Results: 5.9 percent of eighth grade program girls had initiated sexual activity compared with a 10.2 comparison rate. Among eighth grade boy participants, 15.8 percent had initiated sexual activity, compared with 22.8 percent for comparison rate boys. Program effects in reducing the onset of sexual activity were significant at the 98 percent confidence level.

Note: This is copied directly from the AbstinenceWorks.org website.

So, their numbers match what another website claims.  And that's the very thing that bothers me the most about these programs.  If you search the web using, "Phase I interim evaluation report to Arkansas", this study is quoted on just about every abstinence website.  It's surreal.  We have ONE guy, at ONE "institute", that has apparently cornered the market on very small scale surveys that curiously become madly popular on the web in a few short years.  (Strangely enough, I still have yet to find a copy of this oft cited article.)

Now, I bet you're starting to get a little curious about those "figures" they're talking about, aren't you?  Well, after digging a bit, I found something of an answer (if you can call it that).  And no, it doesn't appear that it was from, "surveys that were done by them."  In fact, if you'll refer to the citation above, those numbers refer to an INTERIM evaluation conducted by a man by the name of Stan E. Weed (PhD).  From what I can tell, this guy works in Utah, not Arkansas.  Also, his "Institute of Research and Evaluation" has, according to their website, downsized and is now focused on their proprietary AEGIS character education program.

Finally, here's the citation that I can't seem to get anyone at the Real Deal to provide:
Stan E. Weed, Title V Abstinence Education Programs: Phase I Interim Evaluation Report to Arkansas Department of Health, Institute for Research and Evaluation, October 15, 2001
 See?  How hard was that?  Now, if I could only get my hands on that survey Dr. Weed conducted...

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