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Contagious misinformation from "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me". Oh say it isn't so

As a great "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me" fan, I was, of course, listening to today's program. Imagine my distress when they did a whole unquestioning riff on the ideas of Louann Brizendine author of The Female Brain. I have to call them ideas rather than conclusions because she doesn't have data.

The Daily Mail reported, based on Brizendine's ideas, that women talk almost three times as much as men and that men think about sex every 52 seconds, while women think about sex once a day. Brizendine didn't do research in these areas and the references she quoted don't support her ideas. That didn't seem to slow down the Daily Mail and now thanks to "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me" even more people think that these things are true.

Ok maybe it isn't realistic to expect "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me" to read a study before writing questions about it, but they could at least read The Language Log on Contagious Misinformation.

By the way do you think Brizendine's pretend conclusions would have gotten the attention they did if they countered rather than supported stereotypes?

Gotta go think about sex.


Just got this from Wait Wait today in response to my e-mail about Contagious misinformation. Be sure to listen to the show tomorrow

You're right! We found out that the story had been debunked after we'd taped the show. We address the issue again on this week's show. Thanks for listening!

Wait, Wait..Don't Tell Me!

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