To the People

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Monday, August 20, 2007

My Zogby Poll Experience: Bias is Their Mantra

Tonight I was called by a Zogby poller. It made me appreciate the inaccuracy of such polls, as they ask you questions that need to fit into their categories and make you feel really bad if you go a certain way.

Most of the questioning tonight was regarding sex ed in DC schools. The questions were ridiculous, as they did not distinguish between a first-grader and a senior in high school. The questions were all "K-12." And they were questions like, "Do you think that the DC Schools have a responsibility for providing condoms and birth control pills to students?" That question was preambled by the caller's recitation of the high rate of HIV infection in the District.

I felt guilty saying, that no, I don't think the DC schools ought to be in the birth control business, but how could I take that stance, considering the rate of HIV infection that Zogby just read me?

Again and again the questions came to asking which type of sex-ed I thought was appropriate to teach pupils, prefaced by the guilt-inducing preambles about the high rate of STD's in the District.

The final Zogby question was whether I knew a gay person. "Yes," I replied. The question that followed asked me answer positively to one of the following statements:
  • Do you think that homosexuality is immoral and should be taught as such in schools?
  • Do you think that homosexuality is normal and should be taught as such in public shools?
My answer was that public schools ought to get out of the business of sexual education and I can't take a stance on either view point.

And Zogby ought to get out of the public opinion business, as reading " facts" to respondents prior to asking a question is not polling but being paid to get a certain viewpoint validated by their supposed indedpendent status.

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