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Data! We want data! (so sayeth the social scientists)

Martha Olney, adjunct professor of economics | October 27, 2009

Data are the life blood of the social sciences.  Imagine you want to answer this question:  What is the impact of the availability of legal marriage on gay individuals?  You could refine the question to look at child rearing, or saving for retirement, or patterns of spending, or labor mobility, or any of a host … Continue reading »

Unintentional Revelation of Sexuality

Chris Hoofnagle, adjunct professor of information | October 26, 2009

Under 13 USC § 9(a)(2), the Department of Commerce is prohibited from “mak[ing] any publication whereby the [Census] data furnished by any particular establishment or individual under this title can be identified”  Thus, the Census Bureau must protect the identities of those who participate in the enumeration. Modern techniques of “reidentification” are making compliance with … Continue reading »

“Do Tell, Do Ask!”

Davitt Moroney, professor emeritus of music |

The wording here confused me a little, since I prefer to be optimistic and celebrate any and all advances in LGBT rights rather than to dwell on the never-ending setbacks and litanies against our rights. For clarification: last June, officials of the Census Bureau announced that “married same-sex couples will be counted as such in … Continue reading »

A wise decision?

Stephen Tollefson, former lecturer, College Writing Programs |

The plan to count married same-sex couples as unmarried partners, rather than as married couples is not surprising.  Is it wise?  Well, since it’s a political decision, I doubt that wisdom has much to do with it.  To stereotype and generalize, it’s a wise decision if you don’t believe in gay marriage, live in a … Continue reading »