By Selwyn Duke
There’s the Stupid Media and the Smart Media. Part of the job of the Smart Media (yours truly, among others), though it does get tiresome, is to debunk the stupidity of the Stupid Media. And such two-brain-cell reportage was on full display Wednesday with a Sky News article titled “Women are better drivers than men, study finds.”
No, I won’t link to it and give the Stupid Media more traffic, but its theme is simple: “Male drivers seem to have more accidents than their female counterparts — costing insurers more money in claims pay-outs” (thank you, Captain Obvious), as the subtitle explains.
The above statement isn’t exactly a revelation. But I suppose with newbie news readers coming online all the time, it’s always news to someone. And bashing men is a fashionable way to grab headlines.
But like so much disgorged by the Stupid Media — intersex wage-gap propaganda, for instance — the notion that this means women are better drivers is bunk. Yes, men get into more accidents overall, but this is simply because they drive many more miles. As Freakonomics reported in 2010:
Research (gated) by Guohua Li, Susan P. Baker, Jean A. Langlois and Gabor D. Kelen showed that, as of the mid-1990s, women drivers were involved in about 5.7 accidents per million miles driven. Men, on the other hand, were involved in about 5.1. Women were thus 12 percent more likely to be in crashes per mile driven. This is confirmed by another paper (gated), by Dawn L. Massie, Kenneth L. Campbell, and Allan F. Williams, which found women were involved in 16 percent more accidents than men on a per mile driven basis.
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Then there’s this from the Daily Mail in 2011:
Women drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident, according to scientists.
Researchers looked at 6.5 million car crashes and found a higher than expected number of accidents between two female drivers.
They also discovered that women have a tough time negotiating crossroads, T-junctions and slip roads.
The results are even more surprising given that men spend more time behind the wheel than women. On average, men drive 60 per cent of the time, and women 40 per cent.
Michael Sivak, of the University of Michigan, said: ‘The results indicate that in certain crash scenarios, male-to-male crashes tend to be under-represented and female-to-female crashes tend to be over-represented.’
So I suppose that following the Stupid Media’s lead, based on the above I can proclaim that men are better drivers than women.
The kicker here is that what I’ve revealed isn’t secret knowledge; any journalist who doesn’t know it is in the wrong business. (But to do this craft of the pen justice you have to be a Renaissance man, which I’ll describe as a jack of all trades and master of some. This leaves out Stupid Media members.)
Of course, another prerequisite for knowing Truth and relating it to the reader is actually caring about it. If headlines and traffic (and pushing a leftist agenda) are your only priorities, then, well, you’re what Don Henley was singing about in the song below.
As for the sexes (no, not “genders”; that’s a Stupid Media term) and driving, the truth is that men are more skilled — having better spatial awareness and reflexes, for example — and women take fewer risks. This is a relatively small matter, however.
The real tragedy of the Stupid Media is that, through their combination of profound ignorance and shameless propagandizing, they deceive people on a wide range of issues, some of which are of great import. This begets a civilization that’s out of touch with reality and can’t come to correct conclusions on matters of survival.
That’s the consequence of feeding misinformation into a system. As with a computer, it’s garbage in, garbage out.