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Old 26 August 2016, 09:33 AM
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Default Do Robot Babies Make Teens Want Real Babies?

Today, The Lancet published a study titled “Efficacy of infant simulator programmes to prevent teenage pregnancy.” It’s a controlled, randomized trial that was conducted in Australia, led by Dr. Sally Brinkman of the Telethon Kids Institute. The study looked at a total of 2,384 girls, ages 13-15. Yes, only girls. The researchers determined the number of teen pregnancies by following the girls’ health records through age 20. Health records for boys would not provide conclusive evidence of being responsible for a pregnancy. 1,267 of the girls participated in the infant simulator program (the intervention); 1,567 of the girls participated in the standard Western Australian school sex-ed curriculum, which does not include infant simulators (the control). Dr. Brinkman’s objective was to find out how effective the infant simulator program was in preventing teen pregnancy. And what she found, she said yesterday in a press briefing, is that "unfortunately and surprisingly, for us, the intervention definitely, we could say, didn't work."

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog...nt-real-babies

Here's a link to a summary of the Lancet article. I can't afford the full text article.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...384-1/fulltext
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Old 26 August 2016, 09:54 AM
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In looking around at research about these programs, this seems to be in line with previous results. However, most of the research I've come across seems to be of the pre- and posttest variety, and the Lancet article measures actual pregnancy rates.
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Old 26 August 2016, 12:51 PM
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Actually, that makes a sort of sense. When parents and cultures give baby-doll toys to young girls, after all, even the ones that wet themselves: they're not trying to discourage them from having children, but to train them to expect to do so.
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Old 26 August 2016, 09:47 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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From the Lancet article:
Quote:
relative risk 1·36
Studies with relative risk below about 2 are always highly suspect. They are good enough to get published but not good enough to actually suggest what, if anything, should be done.
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Old 26 August 2016, 09:58 PM
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I think the point is that it trends in the opposite direction from the one intended. The size of the trend wouldn't seem to me to be that important.
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Old 26 August 2016, 11:31 PM
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There could be other explanations. Maybe taking care of babies makes young women more fertile. Stranger things have happened.

Still, it's kind of a dumb idea. "We're going to make you do something that you biologically evolved to do well, in order to show you how hard it is to do that thing and then you wont ant to do it..."

If they want to stop teen pregnancy, they should give young women other things to do. Such as good education and good jobs. And contraceptives. Duh.
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Old 27 August 2016, 02:32 AM
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Makes me think of the flour child episode of Frasier where Niles treats a bag of flour as if it's a baby to see if he really wants to become a father. Many funny moments but possibly the best is what Niles said when Frasier commented on the scorch marks on his flour child "It's not as careless as you make it seem. After all, a real child would have cried before it burst into flames!"
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Old 27 August 2016, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
I think the point is that it trends in the opposite direction from the one intended. The size of the trend wouldn't seem to me to be that important.
A more scientifically robust description would be that there is NO trend. The two things are so loosely correlated that the best bet is that there is no correlation.
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Old 27 August 2016, 11:54 PM
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You can nitpick all you want, but the main point for me is that the programs are a waste of time and money.
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Old 28 August 2016, 12:57 AM
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Scientifically speaking, relative risk has nothing at all to do with robustness. The relavent statistic in the study is p=0.003, which means there is much less than 0.5% chance that the increase was due to chance. That's pretty robust: 99.5%.
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