Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I vote bogus: Ugly Children May Get Parental Short Shrift

The New York Times > Health > Ugly Children May Get Parental Short Shrift

I vote "bogus" on this one. It would be extremely hard to control for confounders like number of children, wealth (correlates with looks), IQ (somewhat correlates with attractiveness, but not strongly), genetic behavioral disorders including ADHD & autism (associated with dysmorphic features in some cases), etc.

I can imagine bias based on multiple attributes, particularly when children have high survival value for parents and/or family, but this is too crude to be a likely candidate. Variable seatbelt use based on attractiveness? Nahh -- that's a wealth/education confounder at work.

Trashy, but nice flair for the headlines. Got your attention, didn't it?

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