On Sunday, I surfed the net to find out what the sex ratio is resp. what others say it is. I came across a lot of inaccurate data. It is just shocking how the facts are wrong or people have just cut and paste "facts" from other websites without checking them for accuracy. You might find me pedantic, but there is nothing more harmful to proper thinking that working with facts that are not obviously wrong but also not quite right. I often found that good researchers are not necessarily more intelligent, but their facts undergo a security check before entering their thinking! Little inaccuracies are like little holes in ship, and will ultimately and silently sink it. No wonder understanding PDS can be confusing. Here are some examples.
Source: "Of two- and three-year-olds, equal numbers of boys and girls stutter. The sex ratio becomes 3:1 by the first grade and 5:1 by the fifth grade, the same ratio as adults. 80% of adult stutterers are men."
This is interesting since the text says that 5:1 in adults and 80% of adult stutterers are men. But 80%:20% leads to a ratio of 4:1 and not 5:1!!!
Source: "80% of adult stutterers are men. Of two- and three-year-olds, equal numbers of boys and girls stutter. The sex ratio becomes 3:1 by the first grade and 5:1 by the fifth grade, the same ratio as adults."
Note the similarity of the texts. One is clearly the copy of the other one. And the worst thing is that the mistake of 5:1 instead of 4:1 is still in there. So the person who copied it did not really read the text in depth.
Source: "At two and three years of age, equal numbers of boys and girls stutter. The sex ratio becomes three males for every female by the age of five and four to one by the age of 10, the same ratio as adults. Of adult stutterers, 80% are men."
Hey, this looks again very much like a copy due to the same sentence construction. BUT this time it's four to one and not 5:1!!! But now I have the suspicion that the person, who copied it, spotted the mistake, BUT did not bother to tell the other people of their mistake!! In my eyes, this is an even greater sin. I hate nothing more than people not telling me of my mistakes...
But unfortunately there is still a mistake in there, namely that they say that equal numbers of boys and girls stutter. And it is written in all three texts!! The sex ratio is roughly 2:1 or 3:1 far from 1:1. See the longitudinal studies by Ambrose, Cox and Yairi and by Rommel et al. I actually have Rommel's paper in front of me. He gave it to me at the IFA congress 2003 in Montreal. We did some sightseeing together and went to a Radiohead concert, which was cool. Since then, he has wisely given up on research, and earns far more money as a psychologist in private practise!
Next time I will talk about the possible origins of the sex ratio difference. If you want more myths, look here. It is just amazing how creative our mind can be.