This post is, as they say, in the weeds. But it’s necessary for those who want to know how The Science is produced.
I saw a tweet, the veracity of which I can’t speak to, that purportedly was from the UN’s Women-something-or-other agency, posted on something called International Woman’s Day. It was about violence against journalists. Which, if you’re like me, you didn’t realize was a crime. But it is, and they said of all attacks, 6% (or whatever) were against women in some earlier period, lately rising to 11%. Meaning when a reporter is attached, 9 out of 10 times it’s a man.
The kicker was that the bureaucrat who wrote the tweet shrieked something like, “Stop violence against women reporters!”
This was brought to mind when I read the peer-reviewed study “Gender equality related to gender differences in life expectancy across the globe gender equality and life expectancy” by the doubly-hyphenated Ana-Catarina Pinho-Gomes, and others, in PLOS Global Public Health.
They make a thing of women’s life expectancy, saying how bad women have it in various locales struggling along without Equity, that Goal of all goals. Yet even they are forced to point out that women’s life expectancy is everywhere higher than men’s.
Indeed, by their own picture (Fig. 1), even in times and places where life expectancy increases for everybody, and even where it doesn’t, the Expectancy Gap, if we can call it that, between women and men remains about constant. Women have it better. They live longer than men.
Which must mean that since men and women are Equal, as the theory of Equality demands, it being in some places illegal or financially disadvantageous to deny, the Expectancy Gap must be caused by sexism, of women against men.
Shocking, ain’t it.
Not only that, but the authors say, “Climate change is also likely to have a larger impact on women than men and also carry more adverse health consequences for women than men”. Why? Does it matter? World Ends, Women Hardest Hit.
And so we come to the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), a gift from the World Economic Forum, an index (and subindexes) which “focuses on measuring gaps rather than levels.” Then came the “linear regressions” between GGGI “and change in the gender gap in LE, LE for women and LE for men between 2010 and 2020.” The latter two are not, of course, independent of the “gap”. They did this by country.
I hate to ask you to read this, but here are the first “findings”:
Between 2010 and 2020, there was no statistically significant association between the change in the mGGGI and the change in the gender gap in LE (0.00 95% CI [-0.03 to 0.03] years per 1% increase in the mGGGI; p = 0.985) (Fig 2). There was also no statistically significant association between the change in the mGGGI and the change in LE for women and men (-0.01 [-0.10 to 0.09] years per 1% increase in the mGGGI, p = 0.913 for women and 0.00 [-0.11 to 0.10] years per 1% increase in the mGGGI, p = 0.928 for men) (Figs 3 and 4). The lack of a statistically significant association was comparable across world regions. There was no statistically significant association between the change in the economic and political subindexes and the changes in the gender gap in LE or LE for women and men (S3 Table).
If you skipped, which is understandable, they said there was no signal: GGGI and life expectancy gap had nothing to do with one another, across countries from 2010 and 2020.
In other words: nothing to see here.
So why’d they write a paper? Because they kept playing and twisting the data to “discover” a signal they were sure was there. They did this plot, for just two years instead of all their data, and called it “Cross-sectional association between the mGGGI and gender gap in life expectancy in 2020/1.”.
Look like there’s a signal to you?
Well, there is. But I removed it, via some Gimp magic (see their original Fig. 5; and the same for just women and just men, which are not independent). They managed to squeeze a wee p-value out of this because of those two blue and green dots on the lower left. Here is the original:
That’s it. The weak nothing. Yet they conclude, “Globally, greater gender equality is associated with longer LE for both women and men.”
That was turned by NPR, which really should be renamed NPC, into this ripe headline: “Where there’s gender equality, people tend to live longer“.
Both women and men are likely to live longer when a country makes strides towards gender equality, according to a new global study that authors believe to be the first of its kind.
The study was published in the journal PLOS Global Public Health this week, just ahead of International Women’s Day. It adds to a growing body of research showing that advances in women’s rights benefit everyone.
That’s it. That’s how The Science is done.
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