“There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  ~Mark Twain

 

Recently, Parenting.com created an online uproar with an article titled, “Mad at Dad,”  written by Seattle parenting author Martha Brockenbrough 

 

 

Apparently, a lot of moms (at least a lot of mom she talked to) are angry because they don’t think their husbands help enough at home. According to an online survey of more than 1,000 mothers on MomConnection, an online panel of moms, Brockenbrough opined that the majority of moms confess to “feeling anger at surprising levels.”

 

Oddly, the same website also asked the question (in a separate survey):

 

“We’ve been seeing some press lately about how today’s dads are more involved in raising their kids than dads of previous generations. What do you say?”

 

To which 60% of moms responded, “That’s how I see it, and I’m glad things have changed.”

 

While only 10% responded, “Not at my house!”

 

 

PLAYING THE NUMBERS GAME

 

The article itself is riddled with statistics, which is always an early-warning sign for me.

 

Here’s an interesting exercise…taking the same statistics that the author used, I’ve re-written each statement to support my opinion that Dad’s are much more involved at home that at any other time in history. (Original statistics italicized. Mine are in bold.)

 

44 percent are peeved that dads often don’t notice what needs to be done around the house or with the kids

66 percent say that Dad’s often notice what needs to be done around the house or with the kids.

 

One in five moms says her husband finds time for his own errands, like taking his shirts to the dry cleaner, but doesn’t manage to fit in such family ones as going to the supermarket.

Four out of five moms say that their husbands find time to do family errands, such as trips to the supermarket.

 

31% of moms say their husbands don’t help with the chores.

69% of husbands help with the chores.

 

33% of moms say their husbands aren’t shouldering equal responsibility (so, 67% are?)

67% of husbands shoulder equal responsibility.

 

50% of moms tell us their husbands get more time for themselves

50% of moms tell us that they get more time for themselves than their husbands do.

 

And, my favorite:

 

One in four moms feels like she spends more mental energy on parenting than dads do.

Three in four moms feel that dad spends more mental energy on parenting that she does.

 

See what I mean?

 

 

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”Levenstein

 

More than 1000 women took part in the survey, of those, 15 examples were given (about 1.5%) Based on the fact that every one of these was a negative example, the likelihood that they were chosen randomly from the other 98.5% is slim.

 

What’s more likely is that the author, like most statisticians, winnowed the responses to find the ones that best suited the point of her article.

 

This is the equivalent of reviewing the grades of 100 students at your local high school, and then creating a report, based on the single lowest score you could find, titled, “Students at local high school are failing math!”

 

 

 

-Gracie’s Daddy

 

  

PS – Here are a few interesting responses I’ve found online:

 

“Hey, did you know that parents, especially sleep-deprived ones with young kids, can be angry with each other? Wow, what a discovery!”

 

“I do think it’s unfair for either side to have expectations that you will do this that way and you will be the way I am.”

 

“Parents need to come together and decide what is important to do as parents and what is not. There is going to have to be give and take. Once consensus is reached, both parents need to stick to it.”

 

“As a dad who handles 75% of the child-care in our household while working part time, I agree there are parent-relationship issues worth discussing, but the one-sided “research” seems commissioned by Parenting to produce predictable results to retain and increase readership among its advertisers’ target audience, mainstream moms.”

“Did Parenting do concurrent research into dads’ views, so it could present a fuller picture?”

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