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March 27, 2009
The control, prison, and sex-offender groups were compared with respect to a large number of items. Since these represent only a portion of the information we possess for each individual, we should explain why these particular items were selected and others ignored. The majority require no discussion, since they are basic to the whole study: incidence and frequency of sexual activity, marital status, age, education, etc. Our concern is not with these matters of obvious importance, but with those where selection was necessary.
The selection was made on the basis of what we thought would prove more meaningful. For example, from our body of data about the recreational activities of each person we selected three items: use of alcohol, use of drugs, and social dancing. The first two we chose because there is great interest in their role in criminal behavior, and the third was selected as one measure of heterosexual socialization. We ignored all other recreational data: reading, fishing, athletics, music, theater attendance, etc., as having less significance. Similarly, from our long list of psychologic sexual stimuli we selected only a few and passed over such minutiae as whether or not strip-tease shows caused sexual arousal. Some categories of data were wholly omitted—contraceptive data is one example. In still other instances we merely made broad categories out of detailed information. The best example of this concerns the information on the various positions of coitus; rather than punch all of the relevant information on cards and sort for all possibilities, we simply made two categories: those in which (1) only the standard male-prone female-supine position was used, and (2) other positions had been used as well. We felt that this would suffice to show the presence or absence of any marked degree of rigidity and inhibition regarding coital techniques.
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