Debunking the “Day of Dread”
From Dan’s post:
Considering the supposed connection between the Super Bowl and domestic violence, which may or may not have been debunked (someone Google it and email me what you find), aren’t commercials that make light of men doing grave bodily harm to women in poor taste?
The backstory: In 1993, a coalition of women’s groups held a press conference announcing that a study had uncovered a 40 percent upsurge in emergency-room admissions for domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday. The media quickly seized on the “Abuse Bowl” claim. The Boston Globe, for example, reported that women’s shelters and hotlines are “flooded with more calls from victims [on Super Bowl Sunday] than on any other day of the year,” while a wire story claimed that Super Bowl Sunday “has become a day of terror for thousands of women nationwide. According to women’s groups, the day now ranks as one of the worst days in the year for violence against women in the home.”
Only one reporter, Ken Ringle of the Washington Post, bothered to call the sociologist who had done the study, Janet Katz, to check the facts behind the activists’ alarming claims. According to Ringle’s story, Katz told him, “That’s not what we found at all.”
One of the most notable findings, [Katz] said, was that an increase of emergency room admissions “was not associated with the occurrence of football games in general, nor with watching a team lose.” When they looked at win days alone, however, they found that the number of women admitted for gunshot wounds, stabbings, assaults, falls, lacerations and wounds from being hit by objects was slightly higher than average. But certainly not 40 percent.