Thursday, October 9, 2008

Domestic assaults and football

Speaking of stuff on game days, Sgt. Chad Barrett emailed me earlier this week. He has an intern who is interested in the relationship between sports events and domestic violence. Specifically, are there more domestic assaults when Nebraska loses football games, as opposed to days when the Cornhuskers win? I sent a quick reply back to him, and included a decade's worth of data about domestic assaults occurring on Saturdays. I suggested our intern could figure out which ones were game days and of those, which were wins and which were losses. That's the makings of a great semester project in a research methods class. Play your cards right, and you could parlay that into a master's thesis.

The entire file was 2,300 records on the dot, and it covered 451 Saturdays from the year 2000 through this past weekend, October 4, 2008. That means there is an average of just over five domestic assaults per Saturday. I predict there will be a slightly higher-than-average number on game days, but I'll be surprised if there's enough data here to reach any meaningful conclusion. The hypothesis seems to be that there will be more domestic violence on days that the Cornhusker's lose than on days the team wins. My own guess is that it won't make any difference. If there is enough data to prove anything, I think this will prove to be a myth, with the caveat that there is just more crime in general on football game days than on non-game days. I'll let you know the outcome when I know. Here's some other links on the topic:

England v. Croatia

Super Bull Sunday

Freakonomics on college football

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

My hunch is that any possible increase in DV during or after any major sporting event is due to increased alcohol consumption during and after the event, not to the outcome of the event itself.

Anonymous said...

Chief, Not to mention that Sunday mornings should be added to this. If possible, use 1100 hours on Sat through 0400 hours on Sunday morning. That would give the intern something to do!

Tom Casady said...

6:12-

That's what I think, too.

6:42-

Good point. I'll add the Sundays and send that to Chad.

Anonymous said...

The women of Nebraska better toughen up....It's gonna be a long season!!

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad that UNL, alcohol and their football team are the focus of this study. Fortunately, we're not covering Wayne State College with this topic. Although, when you compare the Wildcats (4-2, #9 ranking) and the team that wears red, well...


Go Cats!

Anonymous said...

There were a few games each year that did not fall on Saturdays that the intrigued student may need to request to be more clear on his data pool. Better to build the foundation properly now then when a onlooker plays stump the chump later on.

Zen said...

Women's rights groups toss this out every year around the Super Bowl. Whether or not there is any veracity to their numbers could be borne out by this intern's work, provided he/she can avoid bias. I, for one, and tire of women's rights groups promoting their independence or their victim-hood, depending on which classification suits their needs at the time. If you call them on their numbers or suppositions, they you are just another 'anti-women' male pig that 'doesn't understand how oppressed they are'. Ive suggested in the past that if women want to see oppression they can book a flight to Darfur, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, or parts of the former Soviet block. That usually ends the conversation.

Tom Casady said...

8:43-

Yes, there will be those 8 Friday games since 2000, and maybe a couple of weekday bowl games.

Anonymous said...

I know that when I was a waitress working football Saturdays the tips were always better when Nebraska won. Unless we were playing a Texas team at home; those Texans always tipped well whether they won or lost.

I know it's off subject, but I always thought it was interesting.

Lorimor said...

I'll go with alcohol sales for $200 Alex.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 0612 about the alcohol consumption. I probably would add illegal drugs to that equation too. As for Zen's comment, way off base. Women's violence is a serious problem in this country. It isn't the case of women seeking sympathy. It is them seeking help. In my life experience, I have found that many times the woman is just as sick as the man dishing out the abuse. Why would I say that? Why would anyone stay in a situation like that day after day? Not only putting themselves at risk but law enforcement, children, etc. As for comparing us to other countries, I say compare ourselves to the standard we want to live up to as a society. Once we start comparing ourselves to other countries, we get into "at lease we aren't as bad as them" mentality. I would like to see the results of this study. It is a very good question. However, there are other factors too. Such as gambling. What if the person bets on more than one team and the Huskers win but the rest of his teams lose? Can't really get data on that.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if The O St. Prophet would have had anything to say about this issue, or if he confined his repertoire to "peace, love, and total nuclear disarmament". I did hear him rant about football on occasion, but never a word on DV.

Zen said...

A woman, singular, seeks help. A national advocacy/lobbying organization does women, plural, a disservice by perpetuating the idea that they are oppressed. My mother was abused in two marriages-neither situation presented itself until a few years after she married. She didn't need some rep from NOW telling her that she was oppressed, so go vote for fair wages. It had about whoopty-doo an effect on her daily life. Women's right organizations only exist as long as they are needed, so everything remotely negative becomes an affront to women while real serious cases get neglected because they are not politically feasible or relevant.

Murph said...

Tell your intern to have a look here:

http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/superbowl.asp


The cites are at the bottom of the page.

Murph said...

Yeah, I suck. I didn't actually notice your second link was to MY link. You can delete either or both of these comments, or leave them up and allow the world to revel in my idiocy.

Tom Casady said...

Murph:

You're funny! Great minds think alike.

James said...

The Home Office has done some great research on the possible link between sporting events and domestic violence. See "Lessons Learned from the Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaigns 2006" at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/Domestic-Violence-10731.pdf