*PR-reviewed phindings* _(peeyarr-rev-yood-fyne-dings) n._ Light-hearted newspaper article based around any risible "scientific survey" produced by a marketing agency to promote a product or service; eg: "It’s the BREAST news men have heard in years – Britain’s women are set to evolve BIGGER BOOBS in future, according to scientists at Cardiff’s Wonderbra Institute of Titology."
[From Charlie Brooker's New Media Dictionary: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/02/charlie-brooker-new-media-dictionary ]
Enjoy these bold claims and vainglorious language at http://www.yoursexcensus.com/ :
"We set out to obtain a snapshot of the UK’s sex lives, and thanks to the 24,709 people who participated, we’ve done exactly that. The Sex Census 2012 paints a more complete and detailed picture of attitudes towards sex and relationships than ever seen before. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute to the Sex Census, your invaluable insights and honesty have helped deepen our understanding of British sexuality. Thank you for helping us to make history."
We have been serially teased about the findings coming out of this survey, but even after the ‘release’ we will have to wait a bit longer to see the actual questions and sampling and so on, and maybe they will never be known.
After a good cuffing by @DrPetra, they retreated to:
"It’s important to note the purpose was never to gather academic data or inform services … but rather to raise awareness about Relate’s Sex therapy service & encourage people to think about their sex lives." @Relate_charity
So, actually, just another dismal offering to add to the stack of press releases of surveys carried out for publicity purposes. I’m looking at
you, Barnardo’s and MacMillan…
Really, that thank-you should have been "thank you for helping make a big news splash with the acquiescence of uncritical journalists".
This approach to surveying and reporting cheapens the currency of research, does nothing for the research literacy of the body politic and usually represents a massive missed opportunity to ask some serious questions and find out something worth finding.