Football Upsets Increase Domestic Violence, Study Finds

Article here. Excerpt:

'The study, by the economists David Card at Berkeley and Gordon B. Dahl at the University of California-San Diego, looked at police reports of family violence on Sundays during the professional football season. (An earlier, free version of the study is here.)

The researchers were interested in what happened when a home team suffered an upset, which they defined as losses in games that the home team had been predicted to win by more than 3 points.

After controlling for things like location and weather, they found that upset losses by the home team were associated with higher rates of domestic violence. In fact, an upset typically led to an 8 percent increase in police reports of at-home incidents where a man attacked a female partner. Upset losses in games involving a traditional rival had an even bigger effect on the rate of partner violence as did unexpected losses after games involving an unusual number of sacks, turnovers or penalties.'

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More junk science... sigh...

Before people ask why I am posting this foolishness, understand that the football = DV myth remains circulating throughout academe as well as pop culture. I have even occasionally heard it mentioned during football games by announcers/commentators.

Sports is pretty much all young men at colleges have left in terms of it being largely their domain of excellence. As I said in another post, there are two kinds of male students left who anyone pays any attention to: Athletes and very bright young men. The rest are tossed to the side and told not to bother anyone, especially the girls (boys are icky-- and dangerous, after all). Sorry, but they just are not as pretty as the girls and they don't bring money or prestige to the school. Tuition money is fine, but not enough.

That said, the reason I think the football = DV myth remains promulgated by the DV junk science crowd is that, indeed, it is the one thing left in colleges that overshadows academics and is also "dominated" by male students, albeit only a very small percentage of them.

Personally, I feel colleges put way too much emphasis on sports. I also think letting a kid get into a college simply because he is a good athlete is contrary to the whole idea of offering an opportunity for a "higher education" to someone, if, in fact the college really has no intention of doing so, as it feels it is more important that the scholar-athlete focus 90% of his waking hours on the "athlete" side of the equation rather than the "scholar" side. Colleges, in no small part, then become nothing but junior training camps for possibly-pro football players But in the mean time, the boys are expected to give 300% to the team and the college if they want to keep their "free rides". Academics comes in at around 128th in their list of priorities, which are made clear to them in no uncertain terms.

On top of all that, football is very dangerous to a person's long-term health, as the numerous lawsuits by former pro players that are working their way through our civil courts attest. Former players who were made physically and/or mentally invalid by the ripe old age of 40 due to their injuries never got much chance to know what awaited them in exchange for all the gridiron glory and, for a small number of them, a 6-figure salary that lasted less than a decade. So if you think I am some kind of knee-jerk sports fan, I am not.

If soccer here in the U.S. were as popular as football, the false DV stats crowd would be decrying how lost soccer games caused men to become more violent. If badminton were a national obsession, likewise. What is driving these DV studies people are a certain subset of academicians who, every day on college campuses, have to watch as the only thing left to male students as largely their own gets vaunted and glorified: sports, and especially:

***FOOTBALL***!!

It makes them furious. They want their departments, their priorities, their obsessions, to be the vaunted ones. But these things make little money for their employers and attract no popular prestige (which translates into donations and people sending their kids there, which translates into money, and on and on...). This drives them NUTS. They have nothing left to do but throw eggs as the sports teams with the football team being target #1.

No one in this dynamic is free of culpability, however. Football here in the US is worshipped, like soccer in the UK [to our UK readers: Yes, I know, it's "football" ("futbol"?)" in the UK, and "soccer" here in the U.S., but since we get lots of readers from both sides of the pond, I have to make sure I am making my example clear]. The obsession with college teams as players are evaluated for fitness as pros, and the huge amts. of money that are attached to it, is a deeply-corrupting influence on the colleges and universities that count on (or more accurately, make bank on) the revenue that winning teams bring in.

Money doesn't talk, it screams. You can be sure where there is this much money at stake, there will be corruption of all kinds, and young players will be thrown into the mill so colleges can cash in on their broken bones and fractured skulls.

But the DV false-stat machine is culpable for its issuance of junk science and trying to pass off as "scientifically valid" the results of studies that are far from rigorous and have a long history of being fudged. Many of the assumptions in the analyses of these reports are, strictly speaking, examples of "begging the question". Recently this phrase has in common usage come to refer to some thought or idea which tends to lead a person to ask a follow-up question or a question that questions the assumptions underlying it. However in the less-recent meaning of this phrase, to "beg the question" means to assume the conclusion of an argument as part of the premises of the argument (circular reasoning). It's the self-fulfilling prophesy of arguments. Many of these studies assume that some group of men (eg: football fans) are guilty of DV to start with and so measure the change in their "DV actions" rather than start with the first matter which is: "Are you dealing with men who engage in DV at all, or if there is DV, is it all one-sided? And is a certain activity X the exclusive factor when determining change? Are you looking only for instances of one-sided DV or mutual DV, and how are you comparing or adding those numbers in if so? Are you asking about DV occurring as started or perpetrated only by the female partner in the house during or after a given football game? And just how are you defining DV?"

When you ask these kinds of questions, authors of such studies tend to get very quiet. Lesson to be learned.

It stands to reason that

It stands to reason that since the Super Bowl myth was debunked, some bunch of idiots would come up with something like this.

-ax