```Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 11:07:14 -1000 Reply-To: Java Joe Sender: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" From: Java Joe Subject: Re: Using gender as an outcome variable in logistic regression In-Reply-To: <4B9F991F.1000308@pmean.com> Content-Type: multipart/alternative; Thank you very much for your explanation which helps my perspective on using gender as a DV. My male friends especially appreciate your funny (and true) cause-and-effect example that "not wanting to ask for directions does not cause you to turn into a male". ;) ~joesy On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 4:43 AM, Steve Simon, P.Mean Consulting < net@pmean.com> wrote: > Just to add a few philosophical points to the discussion, remember those > urn problems that you had way back when in your probability classes. Those > balls were either black or white and but when you draw one randomly from an > urn, it has a probability distribution. Similarly, men and women have a > probability distribution when drawn randomly from an urn. So if you draw a > person randomly from the urn labelled "does not like to ask for directions > when lost" the probability that that person is male is approximately 98%. > Since gender can have a probability distribution, it can be modeled using > tools like logistic regression. > > Now if you think in terms of cause and effect, not wanting to ask for > directions does not cause you to turn into a male, but that is a problem > with thinking of independent variables as causes and depdendent variables as > effects. > > If you wanted to you could use the urn model to reverse the time arrow. > Draw one ball and throw it away. Then draw ten balls without replacement and > note their colors. The data from these ten balls can be used to make > inferences about the first ball, even though they occurred in time after the > first ball. > > So go ahead and model gender (or race or any other immutable > characteristic) as a dependent variable. It doesn't lead to a logical > contradiction as long as you discard the idea of independent variables > "causing" a dependent outcome. > -- > Steve Simon, Standard Disclaimer > Sign up for The Monthly Mean, the newsletter that > dares to call itself "average" at www.pmean.com/news > [text/html] ```

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