Let's talk about abortion
July 26, 2018 at 4:12 pm #10305
The problem is that there are also women who are against it.
It’s worse than that. Women are more likely to oppose abortion than men.July 26, 2018 at 4:21 pm #10306
You cannot ban abortion. You can only ban safe, legal professional abortions. Women will continue to have abortions, with tools like wire coat hangers or other winceworthy items, they will get septicemia, some will die. All the legislation is about is when to permit safe abortions. I think it’s weird that so few women are involved at the decision making level of this.
Whether to allow abortions or not likely will not involve a Federal law. Rather, each state will decide. So, the more backward and largely rural states (in the so-called “Bible belt”) will probably ban abortions. Abortions will be available with the ability and means to travel to where they are legal. Here in Oregon, a very liberal state, I’m pretty sure abortions will continue to be legal.July 26, 2018 at 5:18 pm #10307
The benefits of having a baby when you are ready. This article, turned into a film, on Abortion and Crime has changed the opinion of several people I know. The only thing I disagree with, is the author’s claim that “these results shouldn’t affect your opinion on abortion” which I think is foolish. If these results discredit one of the reasons you are against abortion or if this tilts the “positives” column over the “negatives” one, then it is more than reasonable to shift your opinion.July 26, 2018 at 6:44 pm #10308
@davis how did they correlate the legalization in abortion to the drop in crime 20 years later? Do you have a link to the study?July 26, 2018 at 8:04 pm #10309
What do you disagree to, Bellen? Are you saying that there are an equal number of women in the decision making arena of this subject? (SCOTUS has 6 men out of 9 seats). Or do you disagree that abortion cannot be banned, only delegitimised?July 26, 2018 at 8:20 pm #10310
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
When I first read the Freakonomics “Abortion Crime Theory” it did seem to be a reasonable argument and I was persuaded by it for a while. Then I read a book by Steven Pinker and as per the writer of this article, I was forced to reconsider it.
There are other good reads on the linked site.
I would consider myself to be “Pro-abortion”. I see nothing wrong with it. It is a right women should have.July 27, 2018 at 5:40 am #10311
@strega I was commenting that I disagree: I think it’s weird that so few women are involved at the decision making level of this.
No, women are at the FOREFRONT of the decision making level of this. We could have EASILY voted in Hilary Clinton and we wouldn’t be in this fiasco so it’s honestly the fact that people didn’t vote in November. Not the way they did when Obama was running. You didn’t see people lining up around the block and many women swayed to Trump. BIG mistake. I think women could easily take charge of this but how badly do we really want to? Not bad enough at least not collectively. We’re not angry enough yet but I think that will hopefully start to change if women who support Donald Trump would wake the fuck up and realize what an asshole he is.July 27, 2018 at 12:21 pm #10312
They compared the rate of violence about 16-18 years after abortion was legalised in some states as well as in Romania after abortion was made obligatory and based on the notable change in Each state so many years later they concluded that parents having children when abortion wasn’t possible (likely because they weren’t ready) the level of crime goes up. I read this in their book Freakonimics where they did statistical analyses on many interesting topics. I don’t have the book now but if you purchase the book they reference their data…or you can find the rate of crime and abortion for each swateeach year and do the comparison yourself. They made strong disclaimers that abortion couldn’t possible explain everything but that it is a contributing factor to lower crime ratesJuly 27, 2018 at 3:11 pm #10313
From what I read in the article, it seems that Pinker was fooled by his own mis-reading. First, the Freakonomics boys never claimed that allowing abortions equalled less crime, besides, abortion has always been going on anyways behind closed doors. The authors gave a probability average of how likely different factors could explain crime spikes or diminishing crime. They gave different probabilities per how various factors played a roll in lowering crime which ranged from better policing to better social programs and higher wages and better child care facilities. They found that there was still a missing chunk of probable factors and after comparing each state per legal abortion or not with the crime rates, they found a notable correlation not with crime in the USA but on a state by state basis. They looked for other factors such as, did other progressive or helpful laws get passed at the same time or was the fact that there was a democrat party cracking down on “tough on crime” but didn’t find a common set of related laws or political change. One of the reasons they asked people not to base their stance on abortion by this statistical analyses is because they were giving a probability range that abortion had so and so affect on crime. In other words, they were not giving a hard correlation.
What Pinker has done, it seems, is give a “fooled by randomness” and “fooled by statistics” reading of the freakonomics article when in fact, the freakonomics gave several disclaimers throughout the article such as: probability not hard correlation, that other factors including unknowns also affect crime rates and that one shouldn’t dictate their views on abortion just because of the article. That’s a far cry from “fooled by randomness a la Nicolas Taleb”. That’s more a case of movie studios looking at the sucess rate of films in 5 years and keeping on or firing a movie studio director, as though success and non success within that period are directly correlated to the producers decisions and that keeping on a producer should be directly based on how well films did from the moment they started until now, ignoring a mountain of factors including negative elements of production that existed before they arrived, the positive influences that would remain after they left, random factors and the role played by directors, production staff, trouble making, the partly random reviews given by faliable reviewers etc.
That’s not what the Freakonomics people did. Pinker relies far more on the authors attempted explanation when the authors themselves made it clear it was not a conclusion. The only conclusion they made was that crime rate went down 16-18 years later in states that suddenly had to allow abortion. Pinker interprets a tentative explanation as a hard correlation. He then uses that explanation to do a statistical merry-go-round of if a isn’t b then b cannot be c. For example if this interpretation is true then crime rates must go up for the 16 year olds in the related states and if they don’t then Levit’s conclusion (which was an explanation) is wrong. If anything…Pinker is getting lost in his own inverted “fooled by randomness” by making the opposite assumptions and declaring the explanation wrong because one set of factors don’t work out. He also relies on a series of causal chains and the relationships between the end of abortion bans and the falling crime rate. But those causal chains depend on your own interpretation of Levit’s explanation which was never a hard correlation meaning those causal chains are as fragile as Pinker’s interpretation/speculation rather than any obvious objective causal chain. He also uses a lot of intuitive assumptions before doing some “extra background explanations” rather than interpreting the overall average over time (assuming other factors and unknowns). This means his “16 year old crime” theory is contingent on crime for 16 year olds going down immediately 16 years after abortion was legalized ignoring the aggregate within a range of years. Throughout he often asks intuitive questions in a series of linked assumptions as through they discredit Levit’s explanation.
<blockquoteYoung pregnant women who opt for abortions get better grades, are less likely to be on welfare, and are more likely to finish school than their counterparts who have miscarriages or carry their pregnancies to term.
These need to be properly researched and understood before being used as some justification to refute Levit’s interpretation. Too much of them are intuitive. While it makes sense to assume that those who think ahead and plan are more likely to do the right thing both in choosing abortion and in passing school/staying-in-school this is just an assumption and it isn’t backed by data. He also makes a giant leap from “mother who have babies without the option of abortion being on welfare” is directly connected to “highschool mothers who CHOOSE not to have an abortion”. As though intelligent people always make intelligent choices and as though a pregnant school girl with the choice of abortion is equivalent to a “mother” who doesn’t have the choice.
Then he makes his own overarching explanations as though feminism explains it or because of the decline in abortion. Those could both quite possibly be contributing factors, but where is his data? There is no data on illegal abortions before it was legalised. There is certainly no data on the percentage of woman pregnant but unable to have an abortion who were or were not feminists, let alone on a state by state scale. Very bizarrely he then also throws in the hippy factor explaining earlier crime. Again, no data there. In fact…where is his data and analysis? It’s only sporadically given.July 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm #10314
According to James Q Wilson in “On Character”, nobody really knows why the crime rate goes up or down.July 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm #10315
According to James Q Wilson in “On Character”, nobody really knows why the crime rate goes up or down.
That’s only part of the truth.. Just like nobody knows why a book was the sold out success it was or why a revolution happened when it did.
But you can extrapolate probable factors that contributed to it. For example there is definitely a meaningful correlation between the second book in a trilogy being a success if the first one sold out is likely to explain a factor towards why it was a success (or the same with being a famous popular author etc). The printing house contributes. Press releases. Reviews. A Timely topic. ALl contribute as well if a known blogger or Oprah happens to endorse it. A good editor doeslike contributes. As do other random and non useful factors and many unknowns.
If you can analyse quantifiable factors on what was successful then you definitely can extrapolate these factors and give the likelihood one did contributes to success. However you cannot use that data to predict that a book will be sucesful and never claim that having those factors WILL make it succesful.
This would be being fooled by numbers and by randomness.
Its sort of like finding the shared qualities that the top 50 CEOs have and claiming you need these qualities to become a top 50 CEO…or even worse…if you have those qualities you will become a CEO. Those factors likely have a probably of contributing towards success but are almost certainly not a given nor mandatory. The best you can do is give historical data and probable correlations between factors of success and accept that they are lousy at making predictions and accept that there are unknown factors that cannot be quantified…and a fair bit of randomness. I’m sure Nicolas Taleb (The author who coined the term “Fooled by Randomness”) would say it could presented on a Mendelbrotian scale. His book “The Black Swan” is one of the best nonfictoon books I have ever read. Very recommended.July 27, 2018 at 9:04 pm #10316
I agree that correlation is significant, when it happens, but it doesn’t prove causation. Maybe there is another unknown factor causing all the correlations.
There also seems to be a general rule that to produce great changes, a combination of great causes are necessary. In addition, some of those causes will serve to amplify other events.
So, to do something huge like lowering crime rates, one single factor will never be enough on its own.July 27, 2018 at 11:01 pm #10319
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