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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Don't Have to Be a Prostitute

We report... and then we decide:

"Author Jodi Dixon, a final-year medical student at the University of Birmingham, U.K., describes a 2010 study of 315 students at London University in which 1 in 10 reported knowing a fellow student who had turned to prostitution out of financial necessity."

This is supposed to indicate a big problem,  showing how common prostitution is amongst medical students. But wait a sec... the study says 1 in 10 students know someone who has turned to prostitution. And this is from a study at a single university, which surveyed only 315 students. So 1 in 10 of them would be 32 students.

At this point, it might occur to one that 32 students is not an unduly large circle of friends for a single person to have. So it's quite possible that these 32 students all know the exact same person who is working the streets. And that possibility looms even more distinctly when one considers how, in a small community like a medical school, word that "Bill who is doing podiatry" is selling himself, will tend to spread a bit.

Then, if you rephrase the study a little, it becomes, "Out of 315 medical students at the University of London, we might have turned up one or two prostitutes."

But it's a little hard to raise a fuss about the "problem" when it is put that way, isn't it?

Listen, you med students, just remember:

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