Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Someone at the Telegraph is an illiterate moron

University of Leicester Press Office:

"Promiscuous men more likely to rape"


Daily Telegraph:

"Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists"

Women who drink alcohol, wear short skirts and are outgoing are more likely to be raped, claim scientists at the University of Leicester.


And yes. It's the same study. Nice gender-reassignment job in the headline there.

Full disclosure: I met Richard Alleyne during my fellowship at the FT. He was intelligent, friendly and supportive of the fellows. I remember him confirming the advice that a story should always lead with the "what the fuck?" Bizarrely, he seems to save the "what the fuck" until the end:

Using a sliding scale of sexual coercion from one to 27 where one was being allowed to enter the women's house to 27 being rape, they assessed how far men would go before "calling it a night".

Many men admitted they would go to within a point of rape before realising the girl was not interested in sex.


As a result, I'm really hoping that the egregious slant in this piece is the result of an editor's butchery. Because seriously. Yuck.

Oh yeah - and the sub-editor that wrote the sub-headline? Lying shithead. Let's review:

Daily Telegraph:

"Women who drink alcohol, wear short skirts and are outgoing are more likely to be raped, claim scientists at the University of Leicester."

University of Leicester:

"Alcohol, however, had the opposite effect than predicted, with participants more likely to coerce women who were sober rather than drunk."

Yup. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, Telegraph. Well. Fucking. Done.

1 comment:

Auntie Em said...

UPDATE: The piece has changed and some of the more egregious factual errors corrected.

Paragraph 3 now reads:

"But, contrary to popular opinion, alcohol consumption did dampen their ardour with many men claiming that they were put off by a woman who was drunk."

And the actual finding of the study is now promoted to para 4.

Ben Goldacre is looking for the original, if you have it...

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