Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What High School Hazing Epidemic?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What High School Hazing Epidemic?

Article excerpt

Contrary to Alfred University's study, which Robert Myers cites in his Sept. 21 opinion piece, "Above the pressure to belong," there is no evidence of a high school hazing epidemic. The survey had such a low number of responses that it should have been rendered null. Polling scholars, such as professor Don Dillman of Washington State University, remarked, "This study does not appear to be well enough done to have the results taken seriously."

Though the problem of high school hazing is worthy of concern, we must understand the problem with accurate numbers before we can combat it. We must inoculate ourselves from the naysayers who love to leap upon errant scholarship. Hyperbole may be fantastic for grabbing headlines and self-promotion, but it is far from scientific.

Howard Fienberg Washington

Research Analyst The Statistical Assessment Service

Every 40 cents counts in Venezuela

When considering what a great bargain 40 cents a gallon of gas is for the people of Venezuela ("Venezuela: just 40 cents a gallon" Sept. 25), you might want to factor in their average income. The minimum wage in Venezuela is around $40 a week; more than half the population works for minimum wage or less. For the average American, that would be the equivalent of paying somewhere between $2.50 to $5.00 per gallon.

I thought the recent comments of Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez were pretty much on target. Nobody in this country is suggesting that we lower the price of computers, pharmaceuticals, or even potatoes to make the life of Venezuelans easier. Thanks for a thought-provoking article.

Gerald Crowley Takeetna, Alaska

A gender gap in voting is nothing new

While I generally enjoyed your Sept. 25 article "White House race takes a feminine feel," I was less than thrilled with the naive belief that a "gender gap" is a recent phenomenon. …

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